1980-01-01 00.10.28 1980-01-01 00.03.55

The Museum of Natural History isn’t all just about dinosaurs.  I had the opportunity to attend the Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA) Fielding Dreams Gala with my girlfriend earlier this week.

RIPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works with the the City of New York and local communities to provide an innovative and exciting destination through a wide range of sports venues, cultural events, and environmental exploration. In short, it’s an awesome place to play!  Between the Harlem and East River, sandwiched between Manhattan and Queens, under the southern end of the Bronx, it’s in an central location easy for most New Yorkers to get to.

 1980-01-01 00.04.55

The Gala recognized two esteemed community leaders, Victor Cruz, the famous New York Giants Wide Receiver, and Lucy Fato, the Executive Vice President & General Counsel of McGraw Hill Financial, and celebrated the continued success of Randall’s Island Park, a world-class destination for sports, recreation and environmental exploration.

Justin Hamill, Lucy Fato, Victor Cruz, Timothy Barefield

The vibrant evening hosted more than 600 high-profile philanthropists, city officials, and leaders in sports, health, and finance industries, who joined to champion Randall’s Island as the key to providing New York City’s children with innovative and comprehensive opportunities for outdoor sports and recreation.

Elaina Watley, Victor CruzSusan Danilow, Andrea Feirstein, Nancy Neff, Richard Gross

The Gala was Co-Chaired by Timothy Barefield and Justin G. Hamill. Master of Ceremonies Willie Geist, Co-Host of NBC’s “TODAY”, led the program throughout dinner, which concluded with an energetic live auction directed by Sebastian Clarke, Rago Arts & Auction, and PBS’ Antiques Roadshow. More than $1.3 million was raised for the Randall’s Island Park Alliance. After the event ended later in the evening, the museum of course got back to normal, with all the exhibits coming back to life – minus Ben Stiller

Jenny Slayton Green, Justin Green, Anika Natori, Ken Natori RANDALL's ISLAND PARK ALLIANCE'S 2015 Fielding Dreams Gala Dinner.-mosphere

– Michael Riegelman

About the Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA)

The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, Inc. (RIPA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works with the the City of New York and local communities to provide an innovative and exciting destination through a wide range of sports venues, cultural events, and environmental exploration.  As the dedicated steward of Randall’s Island Park, the Alliance sustains, maintains, develops, and programs the Park to support the well-being of all New Yorkers; the Island now annually welcomes over 3 million visitors.  With the completion of 60 state-of-the-art playing fields in 2010, RIPA established the Park as host to more than half of Manhattan’s playing fields.  The Alliance has also developed Icahn Stadium, an IAAF-accredited track & field facility; the 20-court Sportime Tennis Center; a renovated Golf Center; nearly 20 acres of renovated wetlands; an Urban Farm; and miles of waterfront pathways.  RIPA also works to fund, implement, and expand youth programs to make the most of these remarkable facilities.  In partnership with dozens of local public schools and community-based organizations, RIPA provides nearly 20,000 children with free sports and environmental education activities each year.

Photos via Sharp Communications and by Socially Superlative