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Bette Midler, Sigourney Weaver At The 2008 Audubon Society Women In Conservation Luncheon

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“I love nature, in spite of what it did to me” said a weeping with joy Rachel Carson Award winner, Bette Midler. Midler, who helped found the New York Restoration Project in 1995 which has raised over $40 million dollars for open spaces and has created 57 community gardens around the city also quipped, “New York has no personal pride. It’s the Courtney Love of cities. But it’s changing and needs more gardens and urban green spaces.”

The Audubon’s Women in Conservation luncheon was held this Tuesday, May 20th at the old-style glamor Plaza Hotel on 5th Avenue, now operated by eco-minded Fairmont Hotels. The annual Rachel Carson Awards have been around 5 years and past recipients have included women like Majora Carter (Founder of Sustainable South Bronx), Dierdre Imus (Don Imus’ wife) and Laurie David.

Another 2008 award recipient was Theresea Heinz.  Heinz is more than just the name behind the Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Foundation, which do great environmental and women’s health advocacy work, not to mention put the Heinz Ketchup profits to good use.  In a smart navy blue pantsuit paired with a sleek scoop-neck white tee and a glittery brooch on her lapel, Therese was eloquent and gracious upon being selected to represent the ideals of Rachel Carson.  Carson to this day, Heinz said, receives delusional criticism, but is in actuality, the Mother of the modern day environmental movement, “Courageous people know how to awaken the world to truth, but when they don’t know, they ask the right questions.”  Theresea and husband senator John Kerry recently wrote, “This Moment on Earth: Today’s New Environmentalists And Their Vision For The Future.”

The Master of Ceremony for the afternoon’s event was noted environmental advocate, Sigourney Weaver.  When asked exclusively by this Ecorazzi interviewer what animal she would be and why, MC Sigourney said, “What a lovely question.  I think would be a mountain gorilla because they have such a primeval life: eat, sleep, and play, occasionally copulate.  They are so non-aggressive, the opposite of humans.  In fact, that reminds me of the London zoo where there are signs reading, ‘This way to the world’s most dangerous animal,’ and when you get to that exhibition it is just a mirror.”

The event was co-sponsored by Brooks Brothers, Subaru, and Jurlique.  In fact, this Ecorazzi reporter had the pleasure of sitting at a table with Jurlique’s Eli Halliwell, CEO of the high-end organic beauty company.  Attendees enjoyed delicious fare from a local farm and inspirational thoughts from Heinz, Midler, and the Central Park Women’s Committee who received the third Rachel Carson Award as a collective unit.

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