Children In Bloom Council To Honor Arlene Levine

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The kick-off for the Children In Bloom Council Luncheon was recently held at London Jewelers. (Photo courtesy of John Dowling)

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Children in Bloom luncheon, Old Westbury Gardens and the Children in Bloom Council will be honoring Arlene Levine on Friday, Oct. 18. The theme is Diamonds Are Forever and the event will be benefiting children’s education programs at Orchard Hill at Old Westbury Gardens.

“This year calls for a special celebration at Old Westbury Gardens,” said Children in Bloom Council Founder and Chairman Joan Hope MacNaughton. “Sixty years ago, they welcomed the first visitors and Peggie Phipps Boegner’s dream of creating a public garden in her mother’s honor became a reality. There have been extraordinary moments over the last 60 years and the future looks brighter than ever. This momentous anniversary allows us to look back on how far Old Westbury Gardens has come and reflect on our role in the community. As we celebrate this significant time in history, we also mark an important milestone for the Children in Bloom Council. It is hard to believe that 10 years ago I, along side the founding supporters, held our inaugural luncheon, which has now gone on to raise more than $275,000 for education programs at Old Westbury Gardens. We are proud to honor Arlene Levine and her decade-long commitment to the funding of our education programs and longstanding dedication to Old Westbury Gardens.”

The gardens offers a wide variety of programs designed for students and educators, and welcomes more than 3,000 students for complimentary visits each year. Hands-on tours are designed in conjunction with NYS curriculum standards and allow the property to act as an extension of a teacher’s classroom to enhance traditional lessons in natural science.

Levine arduously works to support Old Westbury Gardens and will be honored for her commitment and fundraising efforts to preserve this renowned location as a valued Long Island landmark. Levine is also a founding supporter in addition to being a member of the Children in Bloom Council.

The council is made up of 16 women dedicated to furthering the education programs and mission of the Old Westbury Gardens. Past honorees include Rita Castagna, Nancy DeMatteis, Nancy Douzinas, Michael Keenan, Laureen Knutsen and actress Susan Lucci.

The event will begin at 11:15 a.m. with a champagne reception and raffles, followed by the welcome and luncheon at 12:15 p.m., and continuing with the program and guest speaker, Manda Kalimian at 1 p.m., who is the founder of the nonprofit, CANA Foundation, which works to spread awareness on how to protect and preserve wild horses.

The Children in Bloom Luncheon continues to be a supporting entity in the conservation of education programs as well as the preservation of a treasured Long Island venue. Children in Bloom founding supporters include Angela Anton, Doreen Banks, Karen Bonheim, Rita Castagna, Laureen Knutsen, Carol Large, Judith Mead and Arlene Levine.

Orchard Hill at Old Westbury Gardens is located at 55 Old Westbury Rd., in Westbury.

Courtney Shapiro is a contributing reporter for Anton Media Group.

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