Dear Friends of Untermyer Gardens,
The year 2019 concluded in grand style for the Conservancy: all indicators were up. The annual appeal saw a 16% gain in revenues over 2018. The total yearly number of recorded donors last year was 1,200, up 12% from 2018. This doesn’t include the thousands of donors who gave cash to our greeters or the donation box. It is wonderful to see this depth of support for an eight-year-old organization.
Speaking of our impressive volunteer greeters, not only do they welcome visitors every weekend afternoon from May through October and during the Illumination, they also keep count. Bearing in mind that that’s only a fraction of the time our garden is open, they made an actual headcount of 49,646 visitors. Extrapolating from there, it is a certainty that we welcomed more than 80,000 visitors in the course of the year.
Our Board of Directors continues to grow, with the addition of two excellent new members, Diana Elghanayan and Betsy Pinover Schiff. The former is a community leader/garden lover with a strong connection to the Persian community, and the latter is a noted garden photographer who has published a number of books.
The Grand Holiday Illumination this year was better than ever. Attendance increased more than 7%, and the Walled Garden has now emerged as a hot spot for marriage proposals! There were a number of proposals on several romantic nights. We are grateful to our sponsors, AVR Realty, Domino Sugar, and St. John’s Riverside Hospital.
Stephen F. Byrns
President, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy