Socialites gather to raise money at Central Park luncheon

The Central Park Conservancy’s Women’s Committee raised $400,000 this week with a socially distanced lunch to benefit the park.

The event took place at five locations, including Bethesda Fountain, Conservatory Water and Glade Arch, where well-dressed women including Gillian Miniter, Muffie Potter Aston, Elyse Newhouse, Fe Fendi, Sharon Hurowitz, and model Joan Smalls dined on salmon served from picnic baskets.

“I don’t think [Central Park designers] Frederic Law Olmsted or Calvert Vaux thought we would ever be in this situation and that the park would be as important as it is right now,” co-chair Julia Weld said during a speech. “When I first saw this park as a teenager, the park did not look like this. The park needs many repairs, restorations and maintenance and they are largely sustained by private funding.”

The Women’s Committee has raised $200 million since its inception in 1983. They recently raised more than $2 million at their 40th Anniversary Gala, where Michael Bloomberg was spotted tearing up the dance floor, twirling longtime partner Diana Taylor to the Marcus Reid Band’s rendition of Black Eyes Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” 

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The Central Park Conservancy's Women's Committee raised $400,000 during the socially distanced benefit.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The Central Park Conservancy's Women's Committee raised $400,000 during the socially distanced benefit.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The Central Park Conservancy's Women's Committee raised $400,000 during the socially distanced benefit.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The Central Park Conservancy's Women's Committee raised $400,000 during the socially distanced benefit.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The Central Park Conservancy's Women's Committee raised $400,000 during the socially distanced benefit.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

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The famed Fredrick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon, also known as the “Hat Lunch,” raised $2.5 million in May. The pared down event was spread out over four locations and while it was more low-key than usual, women did don their best fascinators, boaters, wide-brimmed and high-topped hats.

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The event took place at five locations throughout the park, including Bethesda Fountain, Conservatory Water and Glade Arch.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The event took place at five locations throughout the park, including Bethesda Fountain, Conservatory Water and Glade Arch.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The event took place at five locations throughout the park, including Bethesda Fountain, Conservatory Water and Glade Arch.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The event took place at five locations throughout the park, including Bethesda Fountain, Conservatory Water and Glade Arch.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

[Private for approvals] Central Park Conservancy’s 2021 Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
The event took place at five locations throughout the park, including Bethesda Fountain, Conservatory Water and Glade Arch.

Darian DiCianno/Matteo Prandoni/

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Funds go towards maintaining the park. Current projects include replacing the Lasker Rink and pool with a new facility called the Harlem Meer Center.

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