Hulaween & Halloween
Oct 31, 2013
For one night, the Waldorf=Astoria on Park Avenue was turned into a voodoo-infused bayou for guests attending the star-studded-always-sold-out annual Hulaween Gala Benefit for Bette Midlerâ€™s New York Restoration Project (NYRP). Guests were invited to unleash their ghastly, ghostly and ghoulish imaginations in the eveningâ€™s New Orleans-inspired festivities, hosted by Judy Gold, with a costume contest judged by Michael Kors, a performance by Harry Connick, Jr., and a world-class menu designed by chef John Besh.
Joining Ms. Midler and Martin von Haselberg, Harry Connick, Jr. and Jill Goodacre, Judy Gold, Michael Kors and Lance LePere, were Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Billy Crystal, Questlove, Nina Garcia, Glenn Close and David Shaw, John Heilemann, Kate Lear and Jon LaPook, John Demsey, Clifford Ross, Linda Allard, Jurate Kazickas and Roger Altman, Margo and Jimmy Nederlander, Tonne Goodman, Tim DiSalvo, Paul Cavaco, Behnaz Sarafpour, Lauren Buccellati, Kathy and Ben Needell, Dick and Ellen Levine, Todd DeGarmo, Amy Freitag â€“ Executive Director of NYRP, and legions of other generous donors.
NYRP is a non-profit organization dedicated to reclaiming and restoring New York City parks, community gardens and open space in under-resourced communities. Unlike traditional conservancies that care for a specific place, NYRP works citywide, bringing private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support. 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 the five boroughs; nearly 800,000 trees have been planted, with the 1 millionth tree slated to go in the ground by fall 2015, two years ahead of schedule.
Since the organizationâ€™s founding by Bette Midler in 1995, NYRP has achieved dramatic results by investing in the greening and beautification of communities in need throughout New York City. NYRP staff, AmeriCorps members, and community and corporate volunteers have planted hundreds of thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers to support the restoration of public parks and community gardens; restored and revitalized four city parks in Northern Manhattan, and currently maintain Sherman Creek Park and Highbridge Park; and removed over 2,150 tons of garbage from the Cityâ€™s green spaces.
Ms. Midler presented Michael Kors with the â€œWind Beneath My Wingsâ€ Award for Leadership.
As a master of visual communication and storytelling, Douglas Little Creative transformed the Waldorf Ballroom and stage into a steaming French Quarter nightspot by way of â€œMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,â€ with a few Vampires thrown in for good measure. Added to the mix were the requisite Hula Dancers and non-traditional â€œtraditionalâ€ Halloween objects that summoned the spirits to LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL.
Co-Chairs for the evening were: Linda Allard; The Coca-Cola Company; Todd DeGarmo; The Durst Organization; Vernon Evenson; and Ignatius J. Reilly.
For more information on NYRP and its various programs please visit www.nyrp.org