Playground Partners of Central Park Conservancy’s Women’s Committee

Atmosphere – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Playground Partners, a program of the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy, kicked off the year’s series of signature fundraising events by hosting their annual Winter Luncheon. The event was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, with generous support from Presenting Sponsor Harry Winston and Premier Sponsor Jimmy Choo. It raised over $305,000 to maintain Central Park’s 21 playgrounds: essential, safe, and accessible areas of imaginative play for the children and families of New York City.

The event resembled a garden party – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

This private, nonprofit organization is geared toward families with children 11 and under. They host two annual fundraising events, the Annual Family Party, held in May, and the Winter Luncheon, successfully launched over ten years ago and continues to raise vital funds for Central Park’s beloved play spaces.

Sharon Jacob – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Among the notable guests were Betsy Smith, CEO and President of the Central Park Conservancy, and Sharon Jacob, who flew up from Florida, where she is wintering with her family. Sharon, who always looks lovely and perfectly accessorized, serves as Executive Vice President of the Women’s Committee of Central Park, overseeing the Playground Partners Committee.

A pregnant mom wearing Oscar de la Renta and a crown – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Mrs. Jacob expresses high praise for this group of young women, the next generation of philanthropists, whom she lovingly calls “The Yummy Mommies.”

Left, Jenny Price, Neda Navab, Betsy Smith, Tracey Huff, Judy Hart Angelo, Darice Fadeyi, Sharon Jacob, Karen May – Photo by Joshua Kamei/

Women’s Committee President Jenny Price greeted the crowd of 500 (almost entirely comprised of young women) before a lunch of herb-crusted chicken breast quinoa toasted pumpkin seeds, kabocha squash puree, and tiramisu washed down with a Bordeaux or pinot noir.

Gemma Sudlow in Dior – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Jenny offered special thanks to Betsy Smith and hailed her as a “fearless, strong, committed leader without whom the park would not look as good.” This was followed by Playground Partners Co-Chairs Kate Lauprete and Stephanie Stamas’s speeches.

“My love of the park has grown since becoming a mother. I honestly can’t imagine trying to be a parent in the city without Central Park, and that’s why I became involved with playground partners”

Stephanie Stamas, Playground Partners Co-Chair

Guests – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

A native New Yorker and mother of four, Stephanie noted how beautiful and safe the park has become since the 80s when she was a law student and how important the park and its playgrounds are for families and for fostering great friendships.

Guest Speaker Lydia Fenet – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Guest Speaker Lydia Fenet regaled the crowd with her 4 timely tips on becoming “the most powerful woman in the room.” Unquestionably, Fenet, represented by CAA and traveling internationally to speak to companies about unlocking their sales potential, empowering people in the workplace, and the art of public speaking, is an expert on the subject.

Lydia is a highly regarded motivational speaker who has single-handedly raised over one billion dollars for more than 800 organizations, broken down countless barriers for women in the auction industry, and is the author of two best-selling books, The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You & Claim Your Confidence.

Guest with feathers – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Meanwhile, Fenet was one of countless women wearing a garden party floral frock to this event. While it was a mixed bag, this was the unofficial dress code. Many young moms seemingly dressed for an evening event with their feathers and sequins rather than something that started at 11 AM.

Darice Fadeyi, MD – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

A few chic women opted for tailoring; naturally, there was a smattering of Chanel and Chanel-inspired outfits. One woman who always stands out in a crowd is Darice Fadeyi, MD. The subject of a subscriber’s profile I wrote last May, the great-looking dermatologist wore a maxi dress by KHAITE, an Alaia belt, and a custom jacket by Teresa Helbig, who is based in Spain.

Left, guest wearing Fendi – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

All guests left with a gift bag provided by the two sponsors. While there were no jewels by Harry Winston there were jewel shaped chocolates. And instead of Jimmy Choo’s shoes or handbags, there were note cards and envelopes printed with images of Jimmy Choo shoes and handbags.

Latest Comments:

  1. Thank you for that RF…’s an ongoing complaint..and it is NOT about looking’s about looking and feeling great and…

  2. So refreshing to see you aging gracefully and looking fabulous! Too many people fixated on looking young instead of appreciating…

  3. Hi Marilyn..”ABOUT TURNING 75″….You can add me to your almost 75 llist…Oct 29th of this year. I am so glad…

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.