Governors Island will open July 15 and ferry tickets are available now. Click here to reserve tickets.

The Friends of Governors Island 2017 Gala


On September 26th, the Friends of Governors Island is hosting its annual Gala. This year’s event honors the six extraordinary women who led the development of the Island’s new 40-acre park. Adding to the specialness of the occasion, the Gala will be held after-hours on Governors Island! A limited number of tickets remain available.

The transformation of Governors Island from an abandoned military base to a vibrant destination enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year could not have happened without the hard work and dedication of these six pioneering leaders:

  • Former First Deputy Mayor, Patti Harris
  • Past Board Chair of the Trust for Governors Island, Ronay Menschel
  • Past Trust President, Leslie Koch
  • Past Trust Board Member, Wendy Schmidt
  • Past Trust Vice President for Planning Design and Construction, Ellen Cavanagh
  • Past Trust Vice President for Planning and Design, Betty Chen

Powerfully forging partnerships between government and philanthropy, these individuals led the planning, construction and fundraising efforts to create the new park. Their work culminated in July 2016 with the opening of the Hills, an audacious feat of engineering and design that was delivered under budget and nearly one year ahead of schedule.

The design of the new park focuses on sustainability and resilience, while amplifying Governors Island’s spirit of adventure and discovery. What was once abandoned landfill on the Island’s southern end is now beautiful rolling landscapes and pathways filled with visitors biking, lounging and playing. A lively plaza boasts outdoor cafés, hedge mazes and play fountains. The ever-popular Hammock Grove welcomes visitors to catch the breeze amid a growing young forest. And rising up to 70 feet, the Hills offer the longest slide in New York City, a permanent art installation, and 360-degree views of the New York Harbor.

Now enjoyed by more than 600,000 visitors annually, Governors Island’s new landscapes were designed to thrive for centuries. This transformation would not have been possible without the combined efforts of our six honorees. We hope you will join us in celebrating their accomplishments and toasting to one of New York City’s most unique public spaces!

Proceeds from the 2017 Gala will support the Friends of Governors Island. A core tenet of the Friends’ mission is to further the Island’s sustainability and steward its green spaces. Funds raised from the Gala will help care for the more than 2,300 trees and 50,000 shrubs in the new park. Additionally, the proceeds will support the Friends’ efforts to improve the visitor experience, create more public programs, and extend outreach efforts across the entire city.

Learn more and purchase tickets.