Special to the Times
The Friends of the Public Garden will celebrate its 50th Anniversary virtually on Friday, April 30. Attendees of this year’s special event will discover the powerful story of 50 Years of Friends: Moments, Memories & Milestones hosted online by WCVB’s Rhondella Richardson. The funds raised will support the care and renewal of the Boston Common, Public Garden, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
With captivating visuals and a compelling narrative, the evening will include Friends president Liz Vizza, Board Chair Leslie Adam, Friends President Emeritus Henry Lee along with the faces and voices of countless park lovers. The Friends is honored to have now Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh and Ms. Lorrie Higgins serving as honorary co-chairs. Proceeds from this year’s virtual celebration will provide critical funds for park stewardship, a most essential element of the Friends’ efforts that ensures all of the 1,700 trees and more than 40 pieces of public art, as well as the turf areas of the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall are maintained.
The stellar event committee is made up a roster of mostly Boston residents, including Leslie Singleton Adam, Tess and Sam Atkinson, Courtney Barry, Whitney Dayton Brunet and Christian Brunet, Namrita Kapur and Tom DeWinter, Meg and Matt Dwyer, Tracy and John Flannery, Keeta Gilmore, Arjun Gupta, Christine and Scott Hayward, Elizabeth and Sol Kumni, Leslie Lucchina and Thomas MacGillivrary, Annsley and Bobby McAleer, Meg McClafferty, Katherine and Ian O’Keeffe, Annie and Alex Sacerdote, Aliza Samuels, Kate Enroth and Dana Schmalz, Kim Druker Stockwell and Pel Stockwell, Janie Walsh, and Boston Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods.
The Friends work in collaboration with the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department and invest nearly $2 million each year to ensure that the critical natural and structural features of these parks receive the vital care that they need. The group conducts major capital improvement projects like the $4 million renovation of the Brewer Fountain Plaza on Boston Common. The Friends also encourages citizen advocacy, speaking out for protection against park misuse and encroachment, and sponsors educational park programs and family events.
To take part in the Friends of the Public Garden 50th Anniversary Celebration, one of the spring’s signature philanthropic events, please visit https://friendsofthepublicgarden.org/events/50th-anniversary-virtual-celebration/.
Lynn Page Flaherty