The Brooklyn Black Tie Ball
On October 3rd, 2019, more than 700 guests assembled at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 2 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the park’s free public programming. The fundraiser event was hosted by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy whose relentless commitment ensures that the park remains a vibrant community space for all New Yorkers.
Celebrating the Conservancy’s achievements and their generous supporters, the event was more than just a formal get-together, but rather, an opportunity to celebrate the park and its mission. Upon entry, guests were invited to take pictures at a beautiful red-carpet set up in front of the beautiful scenery of the Brooklyn Bridge.
While this year also marked the first year of unfortunate weather circumstances, none of the guests seem to be deterred by the rain. Many originally raincoat-covered attendees even soon revealed themselves as known celebrities. These included English-American actor Paul Bettany (Avengers), and Academy-Award winning actress Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), as well as actress Jemima Kirke (Girls) and Broadway actress Keri Russell.
But the true focus of the event was the two women whose commitment and passion largely contributed to the existence of the park: Mary Anne Gilmartin, Real Estate Developer and former CEO of Forest City Ratner, and Alicia Glen, former New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. Both of them were instrumental in building and/or designing the park as a space enjoyed by more than 130,000 individuals in 2019 alone. In fact, if you’ve lived in New York for some time, it is almost impossible not to come across the various events hosted by the Conservancy.
Examples of the over 500 free and low-cost events range from the accessible basketball courts, yoga, and meditation classes in the park to the free public movie screenings that transform the park into an oasis of recreation and excitement every summer. Accordingly, the event was set out to raise funds with an elaborate auction and ticket sales to facilitate the continuation of these programs. And it proved successful: Over 1.32 million dollars were raised in funds and will directly benefit the park’s programming.
This mission was also captured and elaborated on by NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio and New York State Senator Chuck Schumer who emphasized their general and personal admiration for the park. Schumer, who, as a true “Brooklynite” frequently enjoys riding his bike through the park, specifically described the park as a “public resource” that continues to bring families and people together in a public setting.
After the initial entry, attendees were then led into the beautiful dinner space at the edge of the Pier. Warm lighting and aesthetically pleasing table decorations underneath the large and comfortably protective tent created a beautiful and inviting atmosphere.
Guests were also provided with various culinary pleasantries that displayed the organization’s commitment to sustainability, with food from Cascun Farm of Greene, New York, a business that prides itself on their selection of naturally grown and organic foods. The starter, a beautiful symphony of chicories and brie was followed by a delicious roasted chicken breast on Rosemary-Maple Jus. Throughout the night, the attentive service staff furthermore ensured that guests didn’t even have to make the short trip to the open bar but were provided with any drinks right at the table. This service was also extended to the after-party which brought most guests to the dance floor and transformed the fundraiser into a vibrant party.
In conclusion, the Conservancy hosted a beautiful and surprisingly fun and casual event that was well rewarded with the generous funds that were raised through and throughout the night.