Thursday, June 9, 2011

Celebrating the Tenement Museum with Theater, Local Food and Friends

On Monday night, 300 of the Tenement Museum’s friends and neighbors gathered in Chelsea for our 23rd anniversary gala, “Celebrating Iconic New York.” The event honored former Mayor Ed Koch and the Museum’s previous Board Chair, Raymond O’Keefe. Guests rode a freight elevator (which incidentally is about the size of one of the apartments at 97 Orchard Street) up to the event, where some of our favorite New York City restaurants and purveyors served everything from pickles to pastries.

From Left: Tenement Museum President Morris Vogel, former New York City Mayor and Gala Honoree Edward  Koch, Tenement Museum Board Chair Paul Massey and  former U.S. Senator Alphonse D'Amato
We were excited to sample treats from the Pickle Guys, Ma Peche, Panade, Hot Bread Kitchen, Tortilleria Nixtamal, Russ and Daughters and many more. Guests were also treated to a preview of the upcoming Liberty: A Monumental New Musical which tells the story of the Statue of Liberty and her struggle to find a place in America.

The Museum’s founder Ruth Abram remembered Former Mayor Ed Koch as an important supporter in the early days, during a time when many were afraid to visit Orchard Street. Tenement staffer Frances Pena also rose to the occasion, sharing stories about working with our former Board Chair Raymond O’Keefe.

Former New York City Mayor and Gala Honoree Edward Koch accepts his award.

Museum Staff Member Frances Pena poses with former Board Chair and Gala Honoree Raymond O'Keefe
While the gala is always a terrific party, it also raises crucial funds to support the museum. As a testament to their dedication, guests committed an extra $32,000 at the event to the Museum’s P.S. 97 program, which funds school group trips to the Museum. With this support, 4,000 more students will get to visit the Tenement Museum and explore the stories of the immigrants that called 97 Orchard Street home.
Thank you to all of the food vendors, museum staff, board members, and museum supporters that made “Celebrating Iconic New York” such a success!

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