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Women's Committee Of the Central Park Conservancy's Playground Partners Hosts 'Party In Your Playground'

Originally Posted: June 14, 2011


Playground Partners Committee Chairman Kamie Lightburn, and Party Chairmen Nina Whitman, Jessica Oliver, and Kathryn Beach. (Amber De Vos/Patrick McMullan)

New York City - It was a sunny day in more ways than one. After what seemed like weeks of nothing but rain, rain and more rain, it finally stopped, the skies cleared, and the sun came out for the annual "Party in Your Playground" event hosted by the Women's Committee of the Central Park Conservancy's Playground Partners on May 25, 2011.

Suzanne Johnson, Women's Committee President Gillian Miniter, Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky, and Anne Harrison. (Amber De Vos/Patrick McMullan)

The Party Chairmen for the family-friendly fundraiser include Kathryn Beach, Hannah Buchan, Jessica Oliver, and Nina Whitman. The Grandparents Committee Chairman was Eleanora Kennedy. Playground Partners Committee Chairman Kamie Lightburn, and Womenıs Committee President Gillian Miniter, were there with their families.

Over 1,000 children, parents and grandparents filled the Park's Heckscher Playground, the largest of Central Park's 21 playgrounds, for the three-hour afternoon festivities. A stilt walker in black-tie dress, a juggler dressed as a clown, and masses of bubbles greeted guests as they passed through the Heckscher portals.

Hope Harris and the Cousins Jamboree and the Brady Rymer Band filled a tent in the middle of the playground with music, while Magic Al amazed everyone. Scattered around the playground were stations of Eloise at The Plaza, Eleni's cupcake and cookie decorating, Funky Monkey Snacks, a bouncing Belvedere Castle, rock climbing walls, painting, hula hoops, marionettes and storytelling, fishing pools, official Central Park and NYPD vehicles to explore, and relay races. It was a child's fantasy playground in the middle of Manhattan, and, to top it off, there was a delicious buffet featuring bite-size mac and cheese cubes and fried chicken fingers, chicken wraps, hamburgers as well as salads, fresh fruit and cookies.

As they left the playground, it was obvious from the laughter, chatter and smiling faces that it was a terrific afternoon. Some of those happy faces belong to Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky, Anne Harrison, Yesim Phillip, Nancy Missett, Betsy Messerschmitt, Karen LeFrak, Nancy Paduano, Laine Siklos, Richard Siklos, Diana DiMenna, Nyssa Kourakos, Michelle Smith and Andy Oshrin, Virginia Apple, Sheri Babbio, Vicki Foley, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Jill Ross, and Suzanne Johnson.

"Party in Your Playground" raised $350,000 to support Central Park Playground Partners, a group of families dedicated to keeping Central Park's 21 playgrounds safe, clean and well maintained.

Anna and Ava Safir and Grandparents Committee Chairman Eleanora Kennedy. (Amber De Vos/Patrick McMullan)


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