Stories of theater, design and fairytales came to life as they raised money to benefit the children’s programs at the Old Westbury Gardens. Approximately 125 ladies lunched at the old mansion, built in 1903. Guests were greeted by an old-fashioned, Cinderella-style horse and carriage at the mansion’s entrance. To make the event even more festive, ladies of the Children In Bloom Committee wore beautiful ball gowns and were crowned with tiaras, for a perfect princess look.
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During lunch, Carol Large, chairman of the board, discussed how important it is for children to spend time at the garden. She said that 9,000 Long Island students have visited the gardens for free, along with 4,700 Girl Scouts. She said that science grades rose an average of 81 percent for students who attended the program at the gardens, and that it was important to build “a lasting legacy of environmental conscience” for these children.
The keynote speakers for the event were six-time Tony winner for costumes William Ivey Long and award-winning actress Susan Lucci. Long discussed in detail his career and his costumes. A highlight for many was when he showed, for the first time in public, a video of how Cinderella’s costume magically turned from peasant girl to princess with a swirl and a pull of a string. Native Long Islander Susan Lucci spoke next about how, as a child, she played in Old Westbury Gardens, stating that this place “is an oasis of beauty.” She discussed that her first role at 11 years old was Cinderella and that she loved to play dress up with her mom’s clothes. She also talked about her leading role in Annie Get Your Gun and working with Long.
For information regarding events at Old Westbury Gardens, go to www.oldwestburygardens.org.