03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hulaween: Making New York City a Little More Like Hawaii

Hawaii and New York have absolutely nothing in common, except for making Bette Midler the Eco-Diva she is today.

This Friday, October 30th, Ms. Midler is throwing her annual Hulaween Ball,
a lavish Halloween wonderland in the Waldorf Astoria, with a little
hula-flavor--a nod to her Hawaiian roots. It is the most important
event of the year for her non-profit, The New York Restoration Project,
an organization determined, among many other things, to plant a million
trees in New York. It's up to 250,000 trees planted, and counting.

organization, which raises most of its funding from Hulaween, works hard to
help ensure that every nature-starved New Yorker lives within walking
distance to a "green space." Other greening initiatives include youth education programs, building community gardens and events in low-income neighborhoods.

I spoke with Midler
last spring about "rough" New York in the 1970s, when it was dangerous
to step foot in Central Park at any hour of the day. Hit by another
economic catastrophe, New York depends on NYRP programs to prevent the
city from sliding back into dangerville. And plus, the earth, overall,
could use a heckuva lot more trees.

"We've reached the tipping point, if we don't do something soon it'll be irreversible," she said about the world's other crisis, global warming.

star-packed line-up of supporters agree. This year's Hulaween includes
Whoopi Goldberg, designer Michael Kors as costume judge, comedienne
Judy Gold as emcee and Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be honored with
Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings Award" for his dedication to helping
NYRP green New York, including introducing hybrids into New York's taxi

As a reporter who crashes and gets invited to a lot of
events in New York, I am absolutely in love with the fantasy-land of
Hulaween, created by the company of legendary event designer, Robert
Isabell, who passed away this summer. Isabell designed weddings for
both Caroline and John Kennedy as well as notorious parties at Studio
54 and is considered the "King of Wow."

Tickets to Hulaween
are $640, including pre-dinner cocktails, dinner, and the evenings
performance. Last year Gloria Estefon, dressed in goth, lit up the
stage, and this year Crosby, Stills, & Nash will round-out the

Other guests include Katie Couric, Martha Stewart, John McEnroe, Pattie Smyth, and awesome musician Sia.