Tea’s ‘Moondance Gala’ Notes 15 Years of Making Life Better in the Park

Although the warm days are just starting to outnumber the cold, and the daffodils and crocuses are beginning to bloom, the Esplanade Association has already begun the planning for their annual “Moondance Gala” to be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, on the banks of the Charles River.

With the theme Back to our Roots, this year’s Gala will celebrate the Esplanade Association’s 15th anniversary of making life better in the park.  To kick off the planning, this year’s Gala co-chairs Lori and Matthew Sidman recently hosted a cocktail party at their Back Bay home for the Gala Host Committee.  Together the dynamic and committed group of Bostonians will organize the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Esplanade Association, the 100-percent privately funded friends group for the Charles River Esplanade.

The natural beauty of the park and its canopy of majestic trees will be incorporated into all aspects of this year’s Gala with the setting sun along the Charles River adding to the ambiance.  As one of the most beautiful evenings of the fall social season, the Gala is the only tented black-tie event held on the Esplanade. Catered by Max Ultimate Food, guests will sip on signature cocktails, dine on an elegant seasonal dinner and finish the evening with dancing under the turning leaves and night stars. The evening will bring together leaders in the community for one unifying purpose, which is to celebrate this tremendous treasure and lend support to the Esplanade Association’s continued growth and vibrant future.

“The Charles River Esplanade is key to our being able to raise our children in the city. It is where we go to for sports activities, to run and bike, to take in summer concerts with friends, to stroll with our dogs or just for a welcome respite from everyday life,” said Gala co-chair Lori Sidman. “Matthew and I are honored to be Co-chairing this year’s spectacular ‘Moondance Gala’ to benefit the Esplanade Association.  We are committed to working with our dedicated Boston community to raise the vital funds the organization needs to continue their important work of making life better in the park for our family and the millions of others who visit this beautiful urban oasis annually.”

“We are very grateful for Lori and Matthew Sidman to be chairing this year’s ‘Moondance Gala,’ at which we will be celebrating an important milestone anniversary for the Esplanade Association.  The organization was established15 years ago and since then we have tirelessly worked, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, to restore and enhance the Charles River Esplanade.  The Gala will be a wonderful celebration of our successes and will support the development of future initiatives that will benefit our current work as well as help us develop new essential programs to care for our park,” said Tani Marinovich, executive director of the Esplanade Association.

Last year, the Gala raised over $800,000 for restoration, management and beautification of the park. It is the Gala committee’s goal to surpass that figure and raise the necessary funds to continue the Esplanade Association’s ongoing horticultural, programmatic, and advocacy work in the park.  It will also fund new initiatives including the restoration of the historic Lotta Fountain, the introduction of a Wayfinding Signage System, the development of a long term maintenance and succession plan for the park’s over 1,700 trees, and the beginning of the process to restore the Lee Pool area.

The Esplanade Association was formed in 2001 by a group of concerned local residents with the goal to reverse the decline of the Charles River Esplanade by raising much needed private funding for the park.  Since that time, in partnership with the DCR, and through the support and dedication of countless supporters, volunteers and advocates it has far surpassed all expectations and has been the catalyst for over $28 million in park improvements.  On behalf of the greater Boston community, the Esplanade Association continues to work to restore, manage and enhance the park for the enjoyment of all.

For event details or sponsorship information contact 617-227-0365, ext. 402 or info@esplanadeassociation.org, or visit www.esplanadeassociation.org.

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