Celebrating Greenway and its sponsors

July 5, 2013 Heather Chin
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It was a meeting of land, sea and people at Liberty Warehouse on Wednesday, June 26, when Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) held its summer benefit, New Views 2013: South Brooklyn Surf + Turf + Earth to celebrate a successful year of collaboration on the 14-mile route that will connect Brooklyn’s waterfront from under the Pulaski Bridge in Greenpoint all the way down to Owl’s Head Park on the border of Sunset Park and Bay Ridge.

Honorees included Lisa Hodkoski, who was presented with the Volunteer Service Award, in memory of Alexandra Wise (1972-2012), and the O’Connell Organization, which was recognized as a corporate partner and whose principal, Greg O’Connell, serves on BGI’s board.

“I’ve seen first-hand how small pieces transform into a large talented puzzle. . . through patience, persistence [and] inspiration, allowing the vision of connecting the Brooklyn green space to become a reality,” said O’Connell. “It’s time for us not to be complacent, and to support Meg Fellerath, Brian McCormick and Milton Puryear’s vision, and to support local businesses, too.”

Small business owners such as Allison Tray of Tres Belle Spa, Gai Spann from Spanning The Globe Tours and Kate McGregor’s Kaight were in attendance as supporters. Spann explained that “Brooklyn is the greatest borough, so anything that helps revitalize our neighborhood, I want to be behind it 100 percent.”

As one of BGI’s founders, Puryear said, “It’s awesome to have an idea and vision for what it could be [and then] take it out of our heads, putting it into other people’s heads [and then] work together to make it happen. It’s so rewarding.”

Explaining the allure of the Greenway to thousands, if not millions, of Brooklynites, Puryear said that in addition to the convenience of riding a bike for miles without cars around, the path will also spur economic development. “By connecting all these neighborhoods, the Greenway will allow people to support businesses without taking the car,” he said. “And it’s a nice thing to have open space during the summer.”

The gala was sponsored by Douglaston Development, Edge, Con Edison, MNS Real Impact Real Estate, The O’Connell Organization, Park Tower Group, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Sweet ‘n Low, One Brooklyn Bridge Park, Industry City Associates, Uncommon Goods, RAL Companies & Affiliates, Columbia Street Partners LLC, Madderlake Designs, TLM Associates, Two Trees Management, Brooklyn Flea, Brownstoner, Tres Belle Spa, and Yelp.

Food sponsors included Brooklyn Crab, Court Street Grocers, Fairway Market, Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Hometown Bar-B-Que, Littleneck, Luke’s Lobster, Mile End, M.O.B., Petite Crevette, Robicelli’s, Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies, Watty & Meg, and more.

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