A highlight of New York winter social calendar, The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Dinner was held at The Plaza Hotel last week. More than than 300 guests attended the event, raising $650,000 to benefit the garden’s famous orchid research collection. The Orchid Dinner, well known for its extraordinary table centerpieces with large-scale orchid arrangements created by top New York designers, drew such names as Martha Stewart, Sigourney Weaver, and Kick Kennedy. Among the noted guests were Tina and Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst; gala chairmen Vera Aryeh and Robert F. Gossett, Jr., Sharon and Bill Jacob, Susan and George Matelich, Clinton Smith, Editor in Chief, Veranda, and Carolyn Englefield, Director of Decoration and Special Projects, Veranda. The Honorary Chairmen were Mary and Marvin Davidson, Kamie and Richard Lightburn, and Deborah and Chuck Royce. Hearst, Veranda, BNY Mellon, and Louis XIII Cognac were underwriters for the event.
The Orchid Dinner Table Designers included: Baccarat with Jung Lee, Brockschmidt & Coleman, Cullman & Kravis, Drake / Anderson, FlowerSchool New York, Paris Forino Interior Design, Ellen Hanson Designs, Lindsey Coral Harper, Robin Henry Studio, Kathryn Ivey Interiors, Byron C. James, Juan Villanueva, Shelley Johnstone Design, Lindsey Lane Design, Katie Leede, Lewis Miller Design, Richard Mishaan Design, Kapito Muller Interiors, John Oetgen, Oetgen Design Inc., Hilary Pereira, Eddie Ross for ATGStores.com, Shaun Smith, and William Yeoward Crystal. Design sponsors are Fabricut, Frontgate, Samuel & Sons, Stark, Style Library, Thibault, and Zimmer + Rhode.
During the cocktail hour, guests were able to purchase a selection of rare orchids. All orchids on offer were purchased. The evening’s proceeds will help further underwrite the development of the Botanical Garden’s orchid research collection. Despite strict international regulations, many wild orchids today are under severe threat of extinction from over-collection and destruction of their native habitats. Since 1990, the Garden has been designated a Plant Rescue Center, charged with nurturing and bringing back to health orchids that have been collected illegally in the wild and seized at international borders through the Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).