Friends of the Rockefeller Preserve to Celebrate Its 20th Anniversary

Atmosphere – Playhouse of the Rockefeller Estate

On Saturday evening, December 10th, 2016, Friends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve (FRSPP) held its 20th year anniversary gala dinner at the Rockefeller estate Playhouse, a Normandy-English style unique structure designed by Duncan Candler in 1927.

Honorary chairpersons included award-winning actresses, singers and environmental advocate Bette Midler, and philanthropists and park supporters David Rockefeller and Ann Rockefeller Roberts.  Robert Klein, the legendary comedian, served as MC of the evening.

Robert Lane, Patrice Ingrassia, George Gumina, Clare Pierson, Don Steever, Sharon Pickett, John Nonna. All photos by Margaret Fox

“We are happy to celebrate the many accomplishments of the Friends over the past 20 years,” commented Clare Pierson, President of the Friends Board. “At the same time, we always need to create public awareness of the need to participate in supporting this natural treasure, and to be sure we are ahead of its next need that the State is not able to fund.”

Daniel Blum, President and CEO of Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, received an award honoring Phelps’ longstanding support of the Friends.

Lisa Manuele, Daniel Blum, Tracey Blum, Robert Klein.

The Preserve has more than 1,600 acres of Hudson Valley vistas and trails and serves as a sanctuary for people seeking recreation and reflection. It attracts more than 300,000 visitors from around the world annually and has been designated by the National Audubon Society as an “Important Bird Area” given the 180 bird species there.

Thomas Gronauer, Danielle Gronauer, Kimberly Rockefeller, Steven Rockefeller.

The Friends was established in memory of Peggy Rockefeller, the wife of David Rockefeller, who during her lifetime was dedicated to the beautiful terrain in Pocantico Hills.

Carol Lyden, Jessica Creedon

The Friends operate as part of a private-public partnership with the New York State Department of Parks, the New York State Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Preserve staff.

Atmosphere – Playhouse of the Rockefeller Estate

The gala committee consists of George Gumina, Patrice Ingrassia, Robert Lane, Carol Lyden, John Manuele, Estela Medina, Clare Pierson and Kimberly Rockefeller, all Board Members of the Friends.

For more information about the Friends, please visit