Friends of City Park is celebrating a momentous year: its 40th anniversary. Nearly 35 years after its last major renovation, Storyland in City Park will receive a refurbishment supported by the funds raised at the gala, which will enhance the importance of play for all children by creating a modern Storyland with new exhibits and updates, including STEM, Inclusive Play and ADA accessibility.

Wanting to celebrate past successes while looking towards the future, “Lark in the Park” was Co-Chaired by 22 past Chairpersons. The Honorary Chair was Bev Church, who chaired in 1982 and helmed the last major Storyland renovation in 1986.

The VIP Party took place in the Pavilion of Two Sisters. Messina’s Catering and Events provided hors d’oeuvres. Cellist Helen Gillet performed. Atop each table was a small vase centerpiece wrapped with a Storyland rhyme to keep with the theme of the evening.

The gala took place in the Pavilion of the Two Sisters and Botanical Garden, and featured lounge areas and savory delectables from more than 35 restaurants. Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar provided a raw oyster bar. In addition, guests enjoyed beignets from the Café Du Monde Food Truck when leaving the party. Republic National Distributing Company provided premium libations and three specialty cocktails.

Friends of City Park board members and auctioneers Leigh Morgan Thorpe and Robin Bordelon Borne got the crowd excited for the six one-of-a-kind packages. A raffle offered the opportunity to win a 2019 Bryan Subaru Outback, generously donated by Bryan Subaru.

Robin Barnes and her band entertained guests until the programming portion of the evening. After the live auction, AFX Pro LLC put on a fireworks show. DJ Ann Glaviano – HEATWAVE! then took the stage to spin vinyl records into the evening.

Event at a Glance

What: “Lark in the Park,” benefiting Friends of City Park

When: Friday, March 15

Where: Pavilion of Two Sisters & Botanical Gardens, City Park

Philanthropic Fun: Enchanted Playground in the Park

Andree and Jay Batt

Philanthropic Fun: Enchanted Playground in the Park

Co-Chair Karen Deblieux, Larry Dale and Co-Chair Leigh Thorpe

Philanthropic Fun: Enchanted Playground in the Park

 Vincent and Donna Giardina with Lisa and D.J. Romano

Philanthropic Fun: Enchanted Playground in the Park

Clarice and Jules Moise with Co-Chair Jackie Palumbo

Philanthropic Fun: Enchanted Playground in the Park

 Ellen and Mark Zetzman