Under the Sphere annual gala returns to Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park holds its annual Under the Sphere gala fundraiser next week. (Photo courtesy of the Alliance for FMCP)

The Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP) will hold its annual fundraising gala beneath the iconic Unisphere on Wednesday, Oct. 12. This year, the alliance will honor three neighborhood hospitals and healthcare workers for their outstanding contribution to the park and its neighborhoods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The recipients include NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, LIJ Forest Hills – Northwell Health and Elmhurst Hospital.

“We are delighted to join our other distinguished neighborhood hospitals in supporting the Alliance for FMCP, and we thank the alliance and our community for recognizing our dedication to public service,” said Helen Arteaga Landaverde, MPH, CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. “Here’s to the next great year of public service, from our organization to theirs.”

Last year’s Under the Sphere event honored longtime park administrator Jenice Melnick, who retired after leading the alliance since its inception in 2015. Queens native Anthony Sama took over as park administrator and executive director of the nonprofit in April.

“This year marks my entry into the meaningful work serving as the executive director of the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which held its first Evening Under the Sphere in 2017,” Sama said. “It’s wonderful to see the progress and enthusiasm from the broad array of individuals, businesses, civic organizations, elected officials, everyday parkgoers and Queens’ unique creative independents participating, contributing and celebrating Flushing Meadows Corona Park.”

For tickets starting at $50, guests will enjoy unlimited made-to-order food, courtesy of the following Queens Night Market vendors and sponsors: Hong Kong Street Food serving pan-fried noodles, Bstro serving Taiwanese popcorn chicken, Chick’n Rotonda serving Filipino sliders, DiLena’s Dolcini serving Italian desserts, Treat Yourself Jerk Chicken serving Jamaican fare, Chop Chop Tea serving Hakka cuisine, Mao’s Bao serving dumplings, Sholay serving Indian barbecue, Arepalicious serving Colombian food, Bengali Street Eats serving biryani, Emeye serving Ethiopian cuisine and La Braza serving Ecuadorian food. Beer and wine are being generously supplied by EBBS Brewing Co. (with locations at Citi Field and Williamsburg) and Monsieur Touton Wine.

“Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the crown jewel of Queens, and a wonderful amenity for the residents of our city,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “The Alliance for FMCP is a great partner of Parks, and I applaud them for their continued efforts to enhance, beautify and promote Flushing Meadows. I wish all attending Evening Under the Sphere a fun-filled evening.”

The gala gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Entertainment will include DJ music and a live performance by the popular jazz ensemble Hina Oikawa Jazz Trio, presented by the Queens College School of the Arts, from 6 to 7 p.m., brief remarks by local community leaders at 7 p.m., and dancing to “Basement Bhangra” sensation DJ Rekha from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Silent disco in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Photo courtesy of the Alliance for FMCP)

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center COO Daniel Zausner serves as chair of the alliance board.

“The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is proud to be one of the original annual supporters of this important grassroots nonprofit that honors and serves the park and its 12 million annual visitors from around the corner and around the world,” Zausner said.

For tickets to Evening Under the Sphere, click here.

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