Founded in 1995 by actress-songstress and all ’round uber talent, Bette Midler, NYRPÂ carries out the Divine Miss M’s vision of a cleaner, more beautiful New York for all residents regardless of zipcode. The organizationÂ “restores,Â develops, and revitalizes underserved parks, community gardens, and other open spaces in New York City.”
As a city resident,Â Ms. Midler, I heart you!Â
Held at beautiful Fort Tryon Park, a NYRP recipient, the evening rolled out with cocktails and marvelous munchies at the New Leaf Restaurant. Afterward, guestsÂ retired to the dining tent where weÂ were treated to a delicious barbecue dinner by BLUE SMOKE. Emcee Judy Gold had us rolling in the aisles, which given the quantity of barbeque I put away wasÂ pretty painful.
Throughout the night, trees were adopted, jokes cracked, and yes, songs sung. Living legend Tony Bennett favored us with a classic song, and Ms. Midler ended by leading us in aÂ sing-a-long that included herÂ unique version of “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Other celebrity attendees included Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson,Â Nina and Tim Zagat,Â Cynthia and Dan LufkinÂ and O Magazine editor-at-large and Oprah’s BFF, Gayle King (See photo op).
The Divine Miss MÂ definitely put the “fun” back in fundraiser. To heck with rushing home to tune into American Idol and learn the fate of Adam Lambert. Though the evening ended at 9:00, I could have danced all night.
Â But the celebs needed their beauty sleep and well, it was a “school” night.
To learn more about the NYRP and opportunities for volunteering, visit the organization’s web site at www.nyrp.org.