A genuine Manhattan socialite has an invitation to an important event every night, pretty much all year ‘round. But for the mere mortals among us, choices must be made. With an unlimited number of possible charity galas, fundraisers, concerts and benefits of all kinds, which are the ones that draw the true crème-de-la-crème of business and philanthropy in New York City? Meaning, which are the ones that are must-attend? And we hear you hard-working, high-achieving types sighing and saying: Why do we need to know this? Because, dear reader, if you want to run with the big dogs, it helps to know where they are.
Here are the 10 events where you’ll find the power players in the city this spring:
1. Jeffrey Fashion Cares. When: April 11, 2018 What: Now in its 15th year, this annual fundraiser was established by Jeffrey Kalinsky, the founder and owner of the chic meatpacking district store Jeffrey New York. Funds raised are donated to charities related to issues facing the LGBT community. According to the invitation, the event will include cocktails, a VIP lounge, and “the sexiest men’s NYC runway show of the season. The leading supermodels from around world walk the runway showcasing the best of Spring ’18.” Where: This year the event will be held onboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; the focus is on advocating for transgendered individuals to be able to continue to serve in the American military. How much: $500 per person is the entry-level ticket price, and for a prime table for you and 7 of your friends, the tariff is $15,000.
2. The Save Venice Masquerade Ball, or to call it by its proper name, Un Ballo in Maschera. When: April 20, 2018 What: Save Venice is a nonprofit whose mission is to raise funds to restore the art and architecture of Venice. The Ball is high-glamour, with Venetian carnival masks and elaborate gowns the norm. Where: At the Pierre Hotel How Much: Becoming a member at the Supporter Level costs $250 annually, which provides the opportunity to purchase tickets to the Ball. Ticket tiers are $1,500, $2,500 and $5,000 per person.
3. The New York Philharmonic Spring Gala. When: May 1, 2018. What: Audra McDonald returns to the Phil after more than four years; the six-time Tony Award winner will perform both musical standards and new songs, with Andy Einhorn conducting. Where: The David Geffen Theater at Lincoln Center.
4. New York City Ballet (NYCB) Spring Gala. When: May 3, 2018. What: An evening to pay homage to Jerome Robbins on the centennial of the choreographer’s birth. The event begins with a performance of two works by Robbins and two world premieres – one from Warren Carlyle, the other from Justin Peck. After which there will be a seated dinner and dancing. Where: The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. How Much: The entry price is $350 per ticket (which doesn’t include dinner); a table of 10 (which does include dinner) tops out at $150,000.
5. The Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy’s Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon – aka “the hat lunch.” When: May 7, 2018 What: A seated lunch that last year raised more than $4 million (at a single lunch!), attended by 1,200 guests. This is the 36th year for this splashy annual event, and there’s no better place to see the power women of the city out in their finery – gorgeous hats, day dresses and chic shoes in a riot of color. When the weather is fine, it’s splendid. Where: Under a tent in the Conservatory Garden at Fifth Avenue and 105th Street. How Much: Tickets start at $1,000 per person and go to $10,000; tables of 10 run from $15,000 to $100,000.
6. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala. When: May 7, 2018 (it’s always the first Monday in May) What: This year’s theme is “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” The red carpet is undoubtedly going to memorable. We’re really wondering if the Pope will be there. Where: At the Met, natch; dinner is usually held in the Temple of Dendur. How Much: If you have to ask, you’re not going. Invitations are so hard to procure that influence or fame, not money, is your only way in.
7. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s (BRCF) Hot Pink Party. When: May 17, 2018 What: According to the BRCF, “each spring, more than 1,000 of New York City’s most prominent philanthropists and celebrities attend the Hot Pink Party to raise crucial funds for BCRF’s lifesaving breast cancer research and celebrate advancements in the field to date.” This year’s theme is aquatic, and the event is entitled “New Depths.” Where: The Park Avenue Armory How Much: Tickets start at $2,500 each, and go as high as $10,000 each.
8. The Robin Hood Foundation Annual Benefit. When: May 14, 2018 What: This is the equivalent of the Met Gala for financiers. Now in its 30th year, everyone with money and power will be there. Robin Hood is the city’s largest poverty-fighting organization. Long beloved by the finance community, each year this gala raises a staggering sum (last year the group raised more than $54.5 million – in one night). Where: The Jacob Javits Center on the far West Side. How Much: Tickets are $3,000 or $5,000 per person. The real fundraising is done during the auction, and yes, you should expect a ton of peer pressure to pony up.
9. American Ballet Theatre Spring Gala. When: May 21, 2018. What: The world premiere performance of AFTERITE by Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, and excerpts from Alexei Ratmansky’s all-new production of Harlequinade, followed by dinner and dancing. Jeweler Harry Winston is this year’s event sponsor. Where: The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. How Much: Ticket levels are $2,500, $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000 per person. Tables of 10 start at $25,000 and top out at $100,000.
10. The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) Conservatory Ball. When: June 7, 2018. What: A black tie sit-down dinner to benefit the NYBG. It’s a parade of stunning floral evening gowns (sadly, no one seems to notice what the men are wearing), with an elegant dinner and an evening of dancing. Where: Under a festive tent at the Garden, adjacent to the iconic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. How Much: Individual tickets are $1,500, $3,000, $5,000, and $10,000. Tables of 10 start at $10,000 and top out at $150,000.
There you have it: the top 10 events in glittering New York City this spring. You can dream a little a dream of attending, and imagine what you might wear — or just go ahead and make the dream happen! It’s all for a good cause.