GREEN-WOOD HISTORIC FUND HONORS PETE HAMILL, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST, EDITOR AND NATIVE BROOKLYNITE AT FOURTH ANNUAL BENEFIT

Proceeds will Support Historic Preservation Projects, Community Outreach Events & Educational Programs at Brooklyn’s Historic Green-Wood

(Thursday, September 15, 2011—Brooklyn, NY) – Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered tonight for “The Fourth Annual Benefit for the Green-Wood Historic Fund” at Brooklyn’s Historic Green-Wood Cemetery.  The benefit raised funds to support the impressive array of preservation projects, community outreach events and educational programs that take place at this National Historic Landmark throughout the year.

Award-winning journalist and author Pete Hamill was honored with the DeWitt Clinton Award for Excellence presented by the Green-Wood Historic Fund. A Brooklyn native, Hamill is a world-renowned journalist, novelist, essayist, editor and educator.  With more than 50 years experience in the newspaper business, Hamill has served as editor of the New York Post and editor in chief of the New York Daily News and has written for the Village Voice and New York Newsday. He is the author of 21 books, including the novel Tabloid City, published this year. Hamill has written fondly and frequently about Green-Wood and has described it as “one of the great urban glades.” Hamill will be featured in the upcoming Ken Burns’ documentary, “Prohibition” to be aired on PBS stations this fall. Click play below to watch a slideshow of photos from the event:

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, one of Green-Wood’s staunchest supporters, was on hand for the event.  Markowitz said, “I think of Pete as one of a handful of writers who have managed to capture the spirit of New York City—its unique character, distinctive rhythms, and multitude of flavors. There is so much history in the hallowed grounds of Green-Wood, so it is only fitting to honor someone whose writing will clearly stand the test of time. When future generations want to know what New York was like in our time, they will have the words of Pete Hamill, beautifully written testaments to the extraordinary city that we call home.”

Pete Hamill said, “This is a great honor indeed. The Green-Wood is one of the truly splendid places of New York, rich with memory, history, and beauty. I’ve been going there since I was a boy. It’s a reminder of the very many ways there are to be a New Yorker. Wandering among the permanent residents can make the past more vivid and the present even richer. And though there is no truth to the rumor that I actually knew DeWitt Clinton, I have spent some time along the banks of his greatest creation, the Erie Canal, the great public project that made New York City into a great American port. Like so many people in the Green-wood, he still lives.”

Green-Wood president, Richard J. Moylan, said, “Green-Wood is a true reflection of New York’s and the nation’s rich cultural, historic and civic history.  The Green-Wood Historic Fund helps ensure that our legacy lives on for generations to come.”

Moylan added, “We have deep roots here in Brooklyn, — so who better to honor than esteemed Brooklynite, Pete Hamill.  Green-Wood has often been the beneficiary of his poignant and eloquent words.  We are so proud to present to him tonight with our DeWitt Clinton Award for Excellence.  And, as always, we would also like to thank Borough President Markowitz for his longtime support of the Green-Wood Historic Fund.”

The benefit featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music, an award presentation and continuous 15-minute guided trolley tours led by Green-Wood’s historian.  There was also a special V.I.P. Hour, a private reception with Mr. Hamill; C. Payson Coleman, Jr., Esq., chairman of the Green-Wood Historic Fund; Moylan; and others that took place inside the Historic Chapel. The Artful Conspirators, a Brooklyn-based collective of theater artists, was also on-hand for some impromptu performances.  Also in attendance were Assemblymember James F. Brennan;

Councilwoman Sara M. González; Ingrid Martin, Chief of Staff for New York State Senator Eric Adams; Denis Hamill and Brian Hamill.

Mr. Moylan extended a deep debt of gratitude to The Artful Conspirators, members of the Host Committee, the hard-working and dedicated staff at Green-Wood, and all the generous sponsors and supporters for their valued contributions that made the benefit an outstanding success.

The Green-Wood Historic Fund, a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization, was established in 1999 to maintain Green-Wood Cemetery’s monuments and buildings of historical, cultural, and architectural significance; to advance public knowledge and appreciation; and to preserve the natural habitat of one of New York City’s first green spaces. Additionally, the Historic Fund presents many public events including themed walking tours, lectures and other special exhibits. 

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THE GREEN-WOOD HISTORIC FUND is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization established in 1999 to maintain Green-Wood Cemetery’s monuments and buildings of historical, cultural, and architectural significance; to advance public knowledge and appreciation; and to preserve the natural habitat of one of New York City’s first green spaces.

Incorporated in 1838, Green-Wood Cemetery stretches across 478 acres and boasts extraordinary works of 19th-century art and architecture.  Home to hundreds of famous historic figures, historic Green-Wood Cemetery offers many tours of its grounds, concerts and events to the public throughout the year. Green-Wood has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior.  For more information about Green-Wood Cemetery please visit www.green-wood.com.