7 Best Philanthropic Galas

James Servin and The Editors | November 15, 2016 | Feature

New Yorkers have heart and soul—and when it comes to giving back, they deliver. They're at the ready to roll up their sleeves, or don a ball gown, in the name of countless benefit-worthy causes. Here, a celebration of the many generous-hearted stars from all walks of life who are making Manhattan proud.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER Saoirse Ronan at this year's Met Ball

STEPPING UP
TOP 3 MOST FASHIONABLE GALAS

1. MET BALL It’s one of the biggest fundraising nights in the city (it netted a record $12 million in 2014 for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute)—the ultimate celebrity-swans-on-the-red-carpet event of the year. Chair Anna Wintour oversees the 700-person guest list; Taylor Swift co-chaired in 2016. May 1, 2017, $30,000 (by invitation only)

2. CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY’S FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED AWARDS LUNCHEON This past May, at the wildly popular annual event that has become known as the “hat lunch,” Martha Stewart, Fe Fendi, Lela Rose, Princess Firyal of Jordan and Deborah Roberts mingled with a chapeau-free Michael Bloomberg to support the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy Garden. Hats off to the total amount raised: nearly $3.9 million. May 3, 2017, $1,000 (by invitation only), centralparknyc.org

3. NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN’S WINTER WONDERLAND BALL Now in its 18th year, the ball remains one of NYC’s most fashionable parties of the holiday season. Supporting the Garden’s children’s education programs, and featuring a favorite annual holiday train show, the black-tie event has attracted the likes of Ally Hilfiger, Julia Loomis and Georgina Bloomberg. Dec. 9, $500 for patrons 40 years and younger, $750-$1,000, nybg.org

ANNIVERSARY GALA: DUBIN BREAST CENTER
Board member Austria Rodriguez on the Dubin Breast Center’s life-saving services

I’ll never forget the moment I answered my phone to hear the voice of Dr. Christina Weltz on the other end. She was calling to ask me to come to her office to discuss the results of a lumpectomy. Dr. Weltz had already performed a lumpectomy on my left breast, and I prayed the worst was behind me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. All I could think about was how I wanted to be able to go on spring break vacation with my husband and two kids. Instead, I spent spring break 2014 recuperating from a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. That’s bad news for sure, but in the process I found my Dubin family. They became my go-to for support, friendship, guidance and care. The Dubin Breast Center was created by Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a cancer survivor and one of the strongest women I know. It is a serene space within Mount Sinai Hospital. I remember talking to Dr. Dubin the day after my diagnosis. Her words were: “You will be taken care of by the best team in the business.” She was right. DBC offers a multidisciplinary approach to treatment with oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, massage therapists, research and, most importantly, hope. As the Dubin Breast Center prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary at the Mandarin Oriental Dec. 5, I can honestly say I do not know what I would have done without them. From $1,500, 212.245.6570, dubinbreastcenter@eventassociatesinc.com

THE BEST GALAS TO MEET SINGLES
The matchmakers at Platinum Poire weigh in on the prime charity events for finding the one.

→CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY’S EVENING IN THE GARDEN As this event is geared toward upcoming professionals, the majority of guests will be singles. Also, it’s a lovely time of year to get back outside and enjoy the spring weather, which lends itself to flirting! $175, annually in June, centralparknyc.org

→NEW YORK CITY BALLET’S SPRING GALA This elegant affair caters to everyone from celebrities to your next-door neighbor in the most glamorous of settings. You never know who may pirouette into your life! From $350 for the cocktail reception (reduced admission for Young Patrons Circle and guests under 40), and from $1,500 for dinner tickets, nycballet.com

→THE FRICK COLLECTION’S YOUNG FELLOWS BALL A glamorous evening of cocktails, fashion and art is guaranteed at this event sponsored by Donna Karan. This is a sophisticated venue in which to mingle, and the annual themes for dressing up provide an easy way to break the ice with others. frick.org



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