Queens Botanical Garden’s Rambling Rose Gala Raises $172k, honors Joan N. and Norman Bluestone Foundation and its Trustees

Queens Botanical Garden’s Rambling Rose Gala Raises $172k, honors Joan N. and Norman Bluestone Foundation and its Trustees
June 7, 2023 Manika Tolentino


Queens Botanical Garden’s Rambling Rose Gala Raises $172k, honors Joan N. and Norman Bluestone Foundation and its Trustees

Above (left to right): Raymond D. Jasen, QBG Board Chair; Evie Hantzopoulos, QBG Executive Director; Charles Herbstman, Joan N. and Norman Bluestone Foundation Trustee; Sara B. Herbstman, Foundation President; Michelle Potvin, Foundation Trustee; Joyce Bluestone, Foundation Trustee; Ira Lichtiger, Foundation Trustee. 

Flushing, NY— June 5, 2023.  On the evening of Monday, June 5, 2023, Queens Botanical Garden (QBG), celebrated its 75th anniversary as a public garden at the Rambling Rose Gala. Gala guests “rambled” through various gardens to enjoy the beauty of flowers, indulged at food stations, took part in garden tours, and crossed their fingers for a raffle drawing. The evening outdoors honored Joan N. and Norman Bluestone Foundation and its Trustees with the Rose Gala Award in recognition of the Foundation’s recent $8 million donation to support the education of children in Queens. The Garden will also name its upcoming Education Center after Joan and Norman. Rambling Rose Gala raised over $172,000 for the place where people, plants, and cultures meet!

In attendance were  Raymond D. Jasen, QBG Board Chair, Partner-in-Charge of Tax of KPMG’s New York Financial Services; Donovan Richards, Jr., Borough President of Queens; Sandra Ung, New York City Council Member; Sara B. Herbstman, QBG Board Member and Joan N. and Norman Bluestone Foundation President; Evie Hantzopoulos, QBG Executive Director; Rebecca Wolf, QBG Deputy Director; Olivia Cothren, QBG Director of Development; supports and sponsors.

“We make this Garden as accessible as we can, with very low admission, free events, programming that reflects the rich diversity of our city, and hands-on opportunities that help people connect with nature, our ecosystem, and our own health and wellness,” said Evie Hantzopoulos, QBG Executive Director. “The funds raised tonight will ensure that Queens Botanical Garden continues to welcome the community for the next 75 years and beyond!”

“The real honorees tonight are Joan and Norman, our Aunt and Uncle, the Foundation originators,” said Sara B. Herbstman, Foundation President. “As many of you know, Joan and Norman lived in Queens their entire lives. Queens Botanical Garden was always a special place that both Joan and Norman frequented often to admire the beautiful grounds. They often expressed their desire to contribute to its future in a meaningful way, and felt fostering the education of disadvantaged youth in the New York metropolitan area was most important. We are so pleased that the new Education Center will bear Joan and Norman’s names. We could not think of a better way to honor their memory.”

Queens Botanical Garden thanks the following individuals, companies, and foundations for their generous support of the Garden.

Lavender Rose

Joan N. and Norman Bluestone Foundation

Yellow Rose

Saul & Gail Kupferberg, The Max and Selma Kupferberg Family Foundation, The Kupferberg Foundation • Andrea Woodner

Pink Rose

Ares Management • Cord Meyer Development Company • Dime Community Bank • Farrell Fritz, P.C. •Raymond D. Jasen • Main Street Radiology • The Oasis Foundation • Resorts World New York City • Veronica Tsang • Dr. Wensong Li & Mrs. Jenny Zhang

White Rose

Lee-Lee Chang, Attorney-at-Law • Flushing Bank • Alison Fung • Quent Capital • RKLA Studio Landscape Architecture •Nancy M. Shannon • Margarita Soto

Coral Rose

Altourage • Derive Engineers •Kelsey Bishop • BKSK Architects LLP Flushing Financial Services •Evie Hantzopoulos & David Motamed J & K Pi Family Foundation, Inc. • Rotary Club of Flushing • Shearman & Sterling LLP

Rose Buds

Marla Bell • Rodney Benson • Bhavnani Reddy Family Fund/Fidelity Charitable • Suzanne Brienza • Broadway Stages • Michael Bronstein Michelle Carteron-Kelban • Maureen Chen • Pablo Clark • Colorblends Wholesale Flowerbulbs • Ashley Cruce • Crystal Window & Door Systems, Ltd. • Dan Fast • ICS Agency • Howard B. Jacobson C.P.A, P.C. • Patrice Kleinberg • Keith Kooper • Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel • Susan Lacerte and Archie Hobson • Mabel Law • Major Systems Mechanical Corp • Maspeth Federal Savings • New York Community Bank • Donna Parks • Edward Potter • Queens College ∙ Stephanie Ehrlich/Van Cortlandt Park Alliance •WAC Lighting

About Queens Botanical Garden

Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants, and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs, and real-world applications of environmental stewardship. QBG is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Queens Borough President, the New York City Council, State elected officials, the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, along with corporate, foundation, and individual supporters. For more information, visit www.queensbotanical.org or call (718) 886-3800.


Also, enjoy these FUN PHOTOS from the event!