On Thursday October 13, 2023 the Hudson River Park Friends returned to Pier 62 and Pier Sixty in Hudson River Park located in Manhattan to host its 25th Anniversary Gala. The Hudson River Park has helped lead the transformation of Manhattan’s West Side and has reinvented the river’s edge as an accessible place for nature, open space, recreation, relaxation and play. To kick off the park’s 25th anniversary, the Gala began with cocktails by the Carousel at Pier 62. Guests were then led by a band to Pier Sixty where they enjoyed dinner and the evening’s program. 

Hosted by comedian and The Daily Show correspondent, Ronny Chieng; the evening honored Susanna Aaron, a native resident of Greenwich Village, Citizen Advocate and the Secretary for Hudson River Park Friends. Chris Beck of Turner Construction Company for Turner’s commitment to the built environment and the sustainable development of the far West Side. Also honored was former New York State Governor George E. Pataki who received the Park’s Legacy Award. In 1998, Governor Pataki signed the Hudson River Park Act into law, put in place a cutting-edge environmental agenda, creating over 60 new state parks, preserving over 1,000,000 acres of open space, passing the first-ever green building tax credit and putting in place record-setting policies to encourage alternate energy.

“I signed this bill 25 years ago and it’s just great that 25 years later so many people understand the importance of this park and are committed to doing their part to make it even better,” says Pataki.

When asked what it means to receive the Legacy award, Pataki replied.

“You know everything I did was an effort to try and leave the world a little better when you’re done than when you arrive. And today, legacy whether you’re a Governor or just a private citizen, it’s what you do in your own way of trying to make things a little better, while you have the opportunity to do so.”

Auctioneer Lucas Hunt led the evening’s live auction, which featured unique experiences including a foodie and wine lover’s dream come true, a getaway to the 2024 Masters Tournament, a journey to Mexico city and more. The evening raised $2.75 million to support the Park’s 400+ free events and programs, the maintenance of its landscapes and gardens and the future care of new park areas including Gansevoort Peninsula and Pier 97.

Guests then danced the night away to an unforgettable performance by Parliament-Funkadelic, featuring George Clinton.

Other notables in attendance included: Martha Stewart, Board Chair of Hudson River Park Friends Diana L. Taylor, New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, New York State Representative Tony Simone, New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher and NYS Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Erik Kulleseid and others.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 12: Susanna Aaron attends the Hudson River Park Friends 25th Anniversary Gala at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on October 12, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Getty Images for Friends of Hudson River Park

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