Our hats go off to the ingenious women behind the 28th annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards luncheon who raised over $2.4 million to keep New York's Central Park beautifully maintained for millions of New Yorkers and visitors. Despite the economy, and despite the fact that there are hundreds of worthy charities vying for available dollars, this coveted event gets sold out almost before invitations are sent thanks to organizers coming up with the novel idea of making it a "hat" luncheon.
Over 1,200 women arrived at the Central Park Conservancy at this daytime gala that celebrates tradition, style and agendas. Martha Stewart, Sigourney Weaver, Peggy Siegal, Cynthia Lufkin, Judy Price, Evelyn Lauder, Diana Rice, Marcia Mishaan, Sarah Robertson, Anne Harrison and Noreen Buckfire were some of the women who attended.
Check out images courtesy of Mary Hilliard and Patrick McMullan and scroll down to keep reading:
"Thanks to the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and the City, the Conservancy has invested more than $530 million into the Park. Today the Conservancy provides 85% of Central Park's annual $26 million operating budget, and it is responsible for all basic care of the Park."
With her lambent brown eyes, Gillian Miniter, the president of the women's committee, surveys New York's social waters like a sea captain and manages to keep everyone in line without making any waves.
"People love wearing hats and they love contributing to Central Park which benefits so many," she told me.
Although hats are still a fashion staple for English women, many Americans don't have an opportunity to enjoy these fantastic fashion accessories outside of the Kentucky Derby and this New York luncheon. However, the annual creativity behind the hats is a spectacle to behold and many ladies shop at specialty stores, commission hat designers or luckily find inexpensive ones like I did at T.J. Maxx. I think there should be more occasions to wear a hat, don't you?
As someone wrote in "Go Ahead & Bloom," "When you wear a hat, it is like medicine for the soul. The hat is the expression of who you are as a women in every moment! The hat is your dreams of who you can be. It facilitates the different parts of who you are: With the wave of the hat, voila! You are mysterious...no, you are sexy...now proper...now playful." Or as Margo Nichel observed, "Whenever you wear a hat, your day will be special." I agree.