The Cosmopolitan Review
Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 3/31/2016, 11:08 a.m.
Spring has sprung, and with the commencement of the Easter and Purim celebrations, it’s official. Even if it tried to snow, warmer winds and April showers will make it just a memory.
Welcoming spring and making fresh memories were the ladies of the Greater New York Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, who continue to outdo themselves. This year’s Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show, held at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60, honored Dr. Marian Rogers Croak, vice president of Access Strategy and Emerging Markets, Google, Inc., and Jacqueline Adams, president, J. Adams Strategic Communications, LLC.
Dance Theatre of Harlem takes the stage again at New York City Center for their spring 2016 New York performance. This season highlights the female choreographic voice, with the New York premieres of “Change,” by the incomparable Dianne McIntyre, and “Divertimento,” by doyenne of classical ballet, Elena Kunikova, along with the return of Helen Pickett’s stellar “When Love.” Fan favorites by Robert Garland and Nacho Duato round out four thrilling, must-see performances.
Although there will be a much anticipated, “Meet the Ballerina” and “Talk Back with the Dancers” immediately after the April 9 family matinée, the 2016 Vision Gala will take place Wednesday, April 6 after the opening-night performance. This year’s Vision Gala will be held at the Russian Tea Room and will honor Gladys Knight, Joyce Dinkins and Latham & Watkins LLC. For ticket information go to dancetheatreofharlem.org or call 212-690-2800, ext. 404. Groups of 10 or more will receive a discount.
The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History provided the perfect setting for the Randall’s Island Park Alliance annual Fielding Dreams Gala Dinner. Among those present to celebrate the continued success of Randall’s Island Park, a world-class destination for sports, recreation and environmental exploration were Mitchell Silver and Courtney Hall. The event raised more than $1.1 million for the Randall’s Island Park Alliance, which really says a lot because the whole project started from scratch.
Back in the early 90s, a young mom by the name of Karen Cohen used to go to the then undeveloped land to watch her son’s afterschool soccer practice. She observed how rundown, neglected, deserted and damaged the island was. Although the soccer fields were used by some private schools in the city, the rest of the island was covered with debris. Cohen could only imagine that the island was a treasure waiting to be discovered. If the private school kids could use it as their outdoor playing field, so could thousands of kids from Harlem and the South Bronx, just across the river.
After consulting with friends, particularly Betsy Barlow Rogers, who created the Central Park Conservancy that rescued the park, Cohen quickly learned that if she really wanted to succeed, she should be prepared “to spend at least 10 years just to get it off the ground.” The thought that there were thousands of underserved and underprivileged children nearby without outdoor facilities to accommodate their energy and needs motivated Cohen.
The next call was made to Michael Bloomberg, who immediately saw the value and the vision and contributed the funds to move the project along. Eighteen years later, Randall’s Island Park is a dream come true. Next on board was Carl Icahn, and thus the stadium bearing his name. Today, Randall’s Island is a destination for runners, cyclists and families to enjoy the space and facilities. Children harvest vegetables from gardens there, herons forage the tidal marshes and thousands of children have an afterschool space for games and sports. All proof that dreams do come true, if you believe they do—and have a few connections.