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.
Making a connection is Dr. Michele Reid, who has partnered up with Nx Generation Athletics, located at 575 Merrick Ave., Westbury, N.Y., to oversee their adult fitness program. Nx Generation is offering parents and the general public an opportunity to exercise while their children are exercising at the same facility. What a novel idea. No more will mommy have to sit, eating a bag of potato chips while the wee ones are getting in shape. Everybody get up.
The Harlem Haberdashery boutique, located on 8th Avenue at 122nd Street, held its third annual Masquerade Ball, benefiting Harlem Hospital Center. Presented by media partners Avenue magazine and Radio 103.9FM, the Mural Pavilion was transformed into “Casino Royale. ” Radio 103.9FM’s Roxie Digital welcomed up to 250 guests wearing their best black-tie meets Las Vegas casino chic ensembles. Festive and fun, the event celebrated the best and brightest of Harlem’s past, present and future. A generous portion of ticket sales were donated to the Harlem Hospital Center, still the very best hospital in the country.
Hundreds of New York’s most prominent business leaders and philanthropists gathered at Gotham Hall to celebrate the Citizens Committee for New York City’s 40th anniversary. CCNYC works throughout underserved neighborhoods by providing micro-grants in an effort to improve community services. This year’s New Yorker for New York Award was presented to Tony Spring, CEO of Bloomingdale’s. The 2016 Osborn Elliott Award for Community Service was presented to Eboni Banks, founder of resident.connect.care. Resident Connect is a grassroots, community-based, volunteer organization committed to serving clients who live in what they refer to as food deserts, who experience overwhelming diet-related morbidity and mortality, by offering a diet of plant-based alternatives.
The reception for Keith Wright, Democrat for Congress, held at Solomon and Kuff, 133rd Street and 12th Avenue, was a stellar affair. Hosted by the Tuffs University Alumni Association, of which Wright is a member, oodles came out to network, show their support and enjoy. Among those joining organizer Michelle Stent, were Wright’s wife, Susan, Bill and Elsie Thompson, Lisa Downing, Keisha Sutton James, Jon Paul, Paula Naylor, Karen Hopkins and William Law Jr. Councilwoman Inez Dickens introduced Wright as a politician who represents all the people, as the congressional district he seeks to represent comprises people from all different backgrounds and culture. Wright’s name is already on the books for having sponsored numerous legislative bills that have an impact on the lives of all New Yorkers across the spectrum of quality-of-life issues. The election is set for June 28. Mark your calendars now for the date to get out and vote.
Until next week … kisses.