Annual Appeal 2015

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John NorbeckDear Friends,

For so many decades, Long Island was synonymous with beautiful, sprawling estates. As we are all painfully aware, the number of these wonderful venues that still exist continues to dwindle. In just the last few years, among others, we lost Land’s End in Sands Point and Inisfada in Manhasset. Some estates that are open to the public that have escaped the wrecking ball have nonetheless needed to limit hours or eliminate programs due to spending cuts.

Prior to opening Old Westbury Gardens in 1959, our founder, Peggie Phipps Boegner, followed some excellent advice from a number of friends, including Robert Moses. It was suggested, to guard against the vagaries that affect publicly funded institutions beholden to the county or state, that the Gardens’ fundraising efforts remain private. Now, over half a century later, thanks to that decision and the gracious support of people like you, the Gardens has not only been able to survive, but clearly, to thrive.

I have had the honor of serving as President for eight and a half years, and so much has happened during that time. Sadly, Peggie passed away in 2006, and we eventually acquired her property, through the help of family and friends. A host of events and classes have been added and refined, many of them a part of our ever-expanding Environmental and Public programs. We’ve successfully dealt with the challenges of economic downturns, a Superstorm which left us with over a million dollars of damage in its wake, and a Polar Vortex. The Walled Garden Pergola has been completely renovated. We’ve embarked on the largest landscape restoration in our history, the replacement of the Hemlock Hedge. Construction is set to begin to rebuild The Barn at Orchard Hill. And despite it all, through the dedication of everyone associated with the Gardens, our budget, though stretched to the limit, is balanced, the house and grounds look as amazing as ever, and the number of visitors continues to increase every year.

When I am asked to donate to an organization, I look into the specifics of exactly how my contribution will be spent. I can assure you that your gift will be used judiciously. Of all the donations we receive, perhaps none are more important than those given through the Annual Appeal. These funds provide us with the essentials, the basic materials and services – from grass seed to stationery to putting the lights on – that we need to keep this special place going day to day. Much of this may be “under the radar,” even unglamorous. But it’s crucial to the very existence of Old Westbury Gardens.

I can’t express to you how much we appreciate your generous support.

Yours truly,

John S. Norbeck
President & CEO

PS:  If you wish to mail a check, please make it payable to Old Westbury Gardens and send it to P.O. Box 430, Old Westbury, NY  11568.  Thank you!

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