New York Restoration Project (NYRP), founded by award winning singer, entertainer, actress and green activist Bette Midler, celebrated 15 years of turning forgotten spaces into growing places with its Ninth Annual Spring Picnic on Monday, May 17, 2010 in Fort Washington Park in northern Manhattan. Midler was joined by Honorary Co-Chairs America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) and Iman as well as Tony and Emmy Award-winning performer Nathan Lane who was the eveningâ€™s host. Judy Gold was also be on hand as the auctioneer for NYRPâ€™s Tree Auction, and John Pizzarelli provided the musical entertainment.
Among the green enthusiasts were: Evelyn Lauder; Candy Spelling; Wendy Williams; Super Model Carolyn Murphy (the face of Lauder) and Loneke Engel â€“ her Super Model Mother; John and Nancy Novograd, Fernanda Kellogg, Mica Ertegun, Al and Patsy Kahn, Amy Goldman, celebrity stylist Freddie Leiba; IMGâ€™s Ivan Bart; Martin von Haselberg; Sophie von Haselberg with Max Neuman; Ann Ziff; Richard and Ellen Levine; Dan and Cynthia Lufkin (Dan started Earth Day 40 years ago);Parksâ€™ Commissioner Adrian Benepe; John Rockwell; Todd DeGarmo; Maria Rodale; and more.
Fort Washington Park, site of this yearâ€™s Spring Picnic, was the first major park NYRP cleaned up 15 years ago. The waterfront park had become victim to neglect and disrepair and was overrun with trash, tires and invasive plants. Today, the park is a waterfront wonderland with bike paths, basketball and handball courts and miles of grass to walk on and enjoy. It is also home to NYRPâ€™s annual Little Red House Festival.
â€œIt is absolutely fitting that this momentous anniversary celebration is taking place in Fort Washington Park,â€™â€ said Midler. â€œFifteen years ago, the park was nothing more than a community dumping ground. Today, thanks to the hard work of this organization and the generosity of our donors, it is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city that symbolizes our commitment to greening New York City, one block at a time.â€
NYRPâ€™s Spring Picnic kicked off at 6:30 p.m. with an hour of riverside cocktails followed by a 7:30 p.m. sit-down dinner overlooking the Hudson River. Co-Chairs of this yearâ€™s picnic include The Durst Family, Mica ErtegÃ¼n, Michael Fuchs, Candy Spelling, William D. Zabel and Ann Ziff.
Dress for the evening was picnic chic.
Those who were unable to attend the picnic can still participate in NYRPâ€™s Online Spring Picnic Auction. From May 17-31, supporters may visit www.charityfolks.com/nyrp to view and bid on a variety of items including two VIP tickets and a meet and greet with Cher at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas; Golf with Alice Cooper; a one-hour Tennis Lesson with John McEnroe â€“ winner of seven Grand Slam Singles Titles; and two VIP tickets and backstage passes to Rod Stewartâ€™s always exciting performance at the O2 in London plus many more one-of-a-kind lots.
New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to reclaiming and restoring New York City parks, community gardens and open space. In partnership with the City of New York, NYRP is also leading MillionTreesNYC â€“ an initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York Cityâ€™s five boroughs by 2017.
Since the organizationâ€™s founding by Bette Midler in 1995, NYRP has achieved dramatic results by investing in the greening and beautification of underserved communities throughout New York City. NYRP staff, AmeriCorps members and community volunteers have planted hundreds of thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers to support the restoration of our cityâ€™s parks and community gardens; restored and helped maintain six New York City parks; and removed more than 2,000 tons of garbage from the Cityâ€™s open space. In 1999, Midler and NYRP saved 114 community gardens from commercial development and established the New York Garden Trust to ensure NYRPâ€™s precious plots of land remain public gardens in perpetuity.
NYRP Educational Dept.
For more information on NYRP, visit the all-new www.nyrp.org.
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