On Saturday evening, Sept. 23, the Esplanade Association held its annual “Moondance Gala” under the stars along the banks of the Charles River in Boston.
This year’s gala brought together 450 friends, supporters, and business and civic leaders from throughout the city to celebrate the iconic green space. The evening raised a record $980,000 for the Esplanade Association’s efforts to create a thriving, safe, accessible Park where people come together to share, explore and enjoy nature and community.
The Esplanade Association was founded in 2001 as the non-profit friends group committed to the restoration, management and enhancement of the Charles River Esplanade. Since that time, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and through the dedication of countless supporters, volunteers, and advocates, the organization has been the catalyst for over $28 million in park improvements. These improvements have helped to transform the once declining Esplanade into the vibrant and healthy park that it is today.
As the Esplanade Association receives no public funding, the gala is a critical fundraising initiative—the largest of the year. Co-chaired by Boston residents Jean and Christopher Egan and Lori and Matthew Sidman, this year’s event raised funds to support the organization’s ongoing efforts to maintain and improve the Charles River Esplanade. In the coming year, the funds will support the installation of Wayfinding Directional Signage; the planting of thousands of bulbs and perennials for next spring; the pursuit of more public art on the Esplanade; educational community programming, such as continued Family Walks, programs that bring children with limited access to greenspace to the Esplanade; and much more.
“The ‘Moondance Gala’ is truly a spectacular celebration of all the Esplanade Association’s accomplishments in the park, as well as an ode to our many incredible members with whom we share a vision and responsibility to protect and care for the Esplanade,” said Alexi Conine, the Esplanade Association’s board chair. “It is only with the greater community’s support that we can continue our ongoing horticultural, programmatic, and advocacy work to developing new essential programs that will help us to continue to make life better in the park for the enjoyment of all.”