An Evening at the BHF Gala!
By all accounts the thirty-fourth annual Babies Heart Fund Gala was a huge success! The BHF Gala, held at The Pierre hotel, is an amazing event by any standard, and the Arabian Horses for Humanity was proud to debut Braveheart at this year’s celebration, where he was unveiled to over five hundred guests, all there to support a cause they are very passionate about—supporting pediatric cardiology research and transitional care programs for young adults. Braveheart, a gift to the Babies Heart Fund, will reside at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center where he will continue to raise awareness of not only pediatric cardiology research, but Arabian Horses as well.
But first there is the beginning to the story of Braveheart and the Gala! Brave Heart and all of his siblings were originally created by the world renowned equine sculptor Karen Kasper of Kentucky. Karen created the mold for the Arabian Horses for Humanity statues to start the program. Her work is highly sought after and she is well known for her work in the Thoroughbred and Hunter Jumper world as well as with Arabians. And Braveheart didn’t need a fairy godmother to dress in style thanks to the talents of international artist Romero Britto.
It is Britto that is responsible for creating Braveheart’s sunny, uplifting look, one that is at once unique and yet unquestionable identifiable as a “Britto Romer” work. Both Karen Kasper and Romero Britto donated their efforts to the program to create this beautiful statue.
The introduction of the Arabian Market and Development group and the Babies Heart Fund is thanks to Damien and Kelly LaPar, both of whom have donated a great deal of time to help the Braveheart project move forward. Damien is a pediatric heart surgeon at New York Presbyterian and Kelly and their daughters show Arabian horses.
But, that still leaves the nitty-gritty details of how Braveheart got to the Gala! As most guests arrive at the elegant front doors of the Pierre, discrete valets collect keys and vehicles are whisked away to one of the many magical, mythical (and hidden) parking garages while said guests anticipate a festive evening in a gorgeous setting. However Braveheart’s arrival was quite a different story. Braveheart has a pair of escorts, Mary and Pat Trowbridge and he hasn't pulled up in a limo, he’s arrived in a horse trailer! Valet parking just won’t do!
It’s only thanks to some crafty shenanigans, tenacity and Pat’s ninja- like skills with a truck and trailer that Braveheart arrives at the Pierre in fine style If you haven’t had the treat of driving the area around Central Park, you can’t really appreciate the tight quarters.
But cool as a cucumber (or not) Pat paralleled the rig right on Sixty-first Street and Mary and Pat wrangled Braveheart, swaddled in bubble wrap, into the lobby and up the stairs to the second floor ballroom! But, for Pat, the adventure had only just begun, because as much as it would be convenient, one just can’t leave one’s truck and horse trailer double-parked outside the Pierre indefinitely. So after a tasty snack, Pat’s next task was to park the rig for the night. Canny Pat had already scoped out his parking options —a lot four miles away. That would be forty minutes of New York City traffic time. By the time he took a taxi back to the Pierre, it was time to get ready for the party!
Was it all worth it? Says Mary “It absolutely was! Anytime you’re around a group of people that have a passion about children, especially children’s heath, you’re around an amazing group! While Braveheart made his debut at Gala, he definitely wasn’t the focus of the evening. The focus was a great group of people getting together to donate money and raise awareness about a cause they feel passionately about. It was a great chance to talk with people about ideas for how Braveheart can continue to raise awareness for the Babies Heart Fund and, at the same time, introduce the Arabian horse community to a new group of people! The Babies Heart Fund Gala raised a million dollars last night, Braveheart was in the house, and plans are being made for several ways in which Braveheart will continue to play a role with BHF! Win-Win!”