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Central Park Conservancy Celebrates Autumn at Sixth Annual Benefit

Central Park Conservancy Celebrates Autumn at Sixth Annual Benefit

Last night at Naumburg Bandshell the Central Park Conservancy celebrated Autumn in Central Park with proceeds from the evening directly supporting the ongoing maintenance and preservation of one of the cities best treasures.

The stunning event hosted over 400 Guests who enjoyed a seasonally inspired dinner in a clear ceilinged tent followed by dessert and dancing when another 200 Young Associate guests joined in for the fun.


Betsy Smith, Kristen Swenson, Douglas Blonsky, Gillian Miniter, Yesim Philip

Rain could not stop patrons of the park to gather for an elaborate event full of beauty and fun.

When asked about the importance of the night, Douglas Blonsky, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy, stated ”It’s about taking care of Central Park and making it beautiful every day of the week.”

Lorry Newhouse, Cameron Silver

Lorry Newhouse, Cameron Silver

Guests enjoyed a harvest menu prepared by Abigail Kirsch, and then danced the night away to music by DJ Kiss. Event designer DeJuan Stroud transformed the tent at the Naumburg Bandshell with awe-inspiring autumnal décor, inspired by the Park’s Woodlands. The Central Park Conservancy worked tirelessly on a multi-year project to restore the Park’s Woodlands as part of its ten-year Forever Green campaign which is intended to preserve the historic Frederick Law Olmsted / Calvert Vaux vision for the extraordinary landscape of Central Park.

Northern Trust graciously sponsored the event for the third year in a row and also made an additional donation in support of the Conservancy’s Discovery Program by donating Discovery Kits back to the Park in honor of each guest attending the event. Discovery Kits are backpacks filled with kid-friendly items that help families explore Central Park in a hands-on way and are available to borrow for free at the Central Park Conservancy Visitor Centers.


Felicia Daniel, Anna Gruscezki, Jessica Curley, Alexandra Hancox

This year’s event Chairmen were Betsy Smith & Rick Cotton, Gillian & Sylvester Miniter, Yesim & Dusty Philip, and Kristen & Michael Swenson. Members of the event’s Young Associates Committee joined for dessert and dancing, followed by an after-party at Lavo. The Young Associates Event Chairs were Bz Reed & Charles Altchek, Sara & Michael Bernard, Samuel P.C. Dangremond, Meggie Kempner and Lucinda & Theodore May.

Other notable attendees celebrating the beauty of fall were Suzie & Ainar Aijala, Douglas Blonsky, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy, Suzanne & Bob Cochran, Alexandra Lebenthal & Jeremy Diamond, Fe & Alessandro Fendi, Yaz & Valentin Hernandez, Tracey & Craig Huff, Sharon Jacob, Henry Johnson, Vice Chairman of Northern Trust’s East Region Wealth Management Business, Jill & Barry Lafer, Elyse & Michael Newhouse, Lorry & Mark Newhouse, Jenny & Michael Price, and Patsy & Jeff Tarr.


Natalie Busamonte, Caroline Irving, Lisa Sagurian, Natalie Cahill

“Autumn in Central Park helps fund the important work of maintaining and preserving New York City’s greatest cultural landmark,” says Doug Blonsky, Central Park Administrator and President and CEO of the Conservancy. “Projects such as our ongoing restoration of the North Woods, in keeping with their historic design, simply would not be possible without the investment of our generous supporters. On behalf of the Board and staff of the Conservancy, I am so grateful to all who supported this event.”

The mission of the Central Park Conservancy — a nonprofit organization founded in 1980 — is to restore, manage, and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public, for the enjoyment of all. The Central Park Conservancy raises 75 percent of the annual budget essential to keeping Central Park beautiful. For more information visit







ElizaBeth Taylor is a journalist for Times Square Chronicles and is a frequent guest at film, fashion and art events throughout New York City and Los Angeles due to her stature as The Sensible Socialite.Passionate about people ElizaBeth spent many years working as a travel reporter and television producer after graduating with high honors from University of Southern California. The work has afforded her the opportunity to explore Europe, Russia, South America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. It has greatly influenced the way in which ElizaBeth sees a story and has created a heightened awareness for the way people around the world live today.

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