YONKERS, NY — October 15, 2018 — On the evening of September 26, almost 300 people gathered at X2O Xaviers on the Hudson Restaurant atop the Yonkers pier for Groundwork Hudson Valley’s Urban River Party, celebrating four people whose contributions have helped to further the mission of the organization.
Honorees included Nanette Bourne, Principal and Director of Hudson Valley Services for Sam Schwartz Consulting; Floyd Myers, Chief of Business Development and Partnerships for the National Parks of New York Harbor; and Anthony Simari, Partner at Holm & O’Hara, LLP and Groundwork Hudson Valley Board Member. The event also recognized Holly Malekian, Groundwork HV’s former Director of Development, for her seven years of exemplary service to the organization. Among the guests were prominent community, government, and business leaders from throughout Westchester County and the NYC area.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who served as the event’s honorary chair, remarked, “We want to be a very good partner to Groundwork Hudson Valley and to do the things that you expect your government to do to protect the environment and to show that we truly care about future generations. The work that Groundwork does is important not only for the here and now, but it is important because it’s an investment in the years to come”.
Ms. Bourne is a passionate advocate for the communities in which she works and lives. She has embraced a personal mission of ensuring that communities are vibrant, resilient, and healthy places to work, play, and live. Ms. Bourne sees a shared mission of creating healthy, community based, and welcoming spaces and has demonstrated a strong devotion for Groundwork HV’s work in transforming public spaces.
Mr. Myers works to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with nonprofits, local and federal agencies as well as other groups in order to accomplish the mission of the National Park Service. He has been instrumental in providing meaningful environmental projects for Groundwork HV’s youth programs. Though our partnership with the National Park Service, we have been able to send our youth to participate in projects in national parks all around the country such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Fort Wadsworth, and numerous others.
Mr. Simari is one of Groundwork HV’s most dedicated board members. He’s been instrumental in helping the organization with its real estate and legal needs. He noted in his Gala speech his dedication to Groundwork HV and shared, “I saw that they partnered with the community and with companies to not only make cities better to live in but to make them into livable cities, cities that are truly alive and vibrant”.
A highlight of the event was the moving speeches of two youth program alumni, Erick Rosa and Rossy Veras, who have participated in Groundwork HV’s youth conservation programs, including trips to Yellowstone National Park. Leading the fundraising portion of the evening was the talented and entertaining auctioneer Nicholas Lowry, appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow and President, Swann Auction Galleries in New York City.
Before the evening was over, more than $375,000 had been raised for Groundwork HV’s initiatives. “From transforming public spaces to bringing nature to more city residents, to our nationally recognized youth education and employment programs, nothing Groundwork undertakes is done without the leadership and support of key partners in this room today” said Brigitte Griswold, Executive Director of Groundwork Hudson Valley, which was recently awarded the 2018 Westchester County Eco Award.
Lead corporate sponsors for the event include Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Eileen Fisher, Domino Sugar, Ask Applications, Avalon Bay, Bank of America, Dagher Engineering, Extell Development, Ginsburg Development, National Resources/ UNO, Rettner Building Management, Sound Associates, Sam Schwartz Consulting, 66 Main Street, and Thalle Industries.
Groundwork Hudson Valley (GWHV) empowers communities to reclaim and revitalize environmentally and economically underserved neighborhoods. Based in southwest Yonkers, GWHV partners with residents, city officials, schools, businesses, and other nonprofits to make neighborhoods more livable and sustainable through an array of on-the-ground environmental projects. Projects include improving and maintaining parks, rivers, trails, and other public spaces; providing summer employment for Yonkers public high school students; and teaching about resiliency, climate change, and sustainable living aboard the Science Barge, our off-the-grid farm that floats on the Hudson River. For more information, visit GWHV’s website at groundworkhv.org.
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SOURCE: Felipe Ramirez