Here is Ann Martin’s story of her trip to New York as a winner of last year’s New York Experience opportunity drawing at RUNWAY: Perspectives 2015:
Amazing! Awesome! Wonderful! Unforgettable! Exciting! Just a few superlatives that describe my recent “NYC Experience”. And what is truly unbelievable is how it all began!
In early September of 2015 I purchased a raffle ticket at JFCS for a drawing–never expecting to win– that would take place at RUNWAY: Perspectives 2015, JFCS’s fashioned-themed fundraiser on September 10. I just knew that the proceeds were going to a great cause—JFCS, an agency very near and dear to my heart. There were five fabulous prizes to choose from, but I purchased a ticket for “the BIG one”—the NYC Experience, which include, for two people, round-trip airfare, a two-night stay at a Manhattan hotel, and a VIP tour of Hearst Tower with the opportunity of meeting David Carey, President of Hearst Publications, having lunch in the employee cafeteria, and a tour of Elle Magazine including a visit to the Elle fashion closet! Fabulous! I was so excited, overwhelmed with joy and disbelief, to be the lucky winner at RUNWAY: Perspectives 2015!
I invited my daughter Amy to join me for this adventure. It would be her first visit to NYC. On May 31 we left LAX on a “red-eye” flight on Virgin America and landed at Newark Airport early the next morning. We got to the Sheraton New York Times Square hotel by 9:00 a.m. The staff there was gracious and welcoming as we stored our luggage until check-in. Our hotel room was on the 28th floor, the top floor, with an interesting view and very comfortable beds. It was an excellent location for dining, sightseeing, and shopping.
On the day of our tour, we took a taxi to Hearst Tower. After we arrived and announced who we were there to see, a pleasant young intern named Sabrina escorted us to the 28th floor to meet her boss, the lovely Sakinah Ali, Customer Service and Laboratories Research Manager at Good Housekeeping offices and labs. She gave us our first tour, an interesting history of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the magazine, how products we use are tested there, and a history of the Hearst building. When that interesting tour ended, she escorted us to the 44th floor where we initially met the very dapper Executive Assistant Fidel, who introduced us to his boss, Hearst Magazines President and CEO David Carey. We met him in his gorgeous and spacious office that had an amazing panoramic view of Central Park and the area. Mr. Carey talked to us about his background in the business and how it led to his success with Hearst. Then he gave us vouchers to have lunch in “Café 57”, the staff cafeteria on the second floor. As we made our way downstairs we continually marveled at the ultra-modern, award-winning architecture of the building. The café is a sleekly designed 380-seat eating area for Hearst employees and guests, and offers a first-class dining experience. The extensive salad bar was quite impressive!
After lunch, we met with two assistant editors of Elle Magazine for a very interesting tour of the fashion closets, their offices, and production departments—a fashionista’s paradise! At the end of the Elle tour, we were presented with some fun goodie bags to take with us (we also got goodie bags from Sakinah of Good Housekeeping). We felt so welcomed and were given VIP hospitality by everyone we met at Hearst Tower.
We extended our stay in NYC to take in the 9-11 Memorial Museum, Times Square, the neighborhoods of Chinatown, Chelsea, the Lower East Side, and Little Italy, and dinner at the Carnegie Deli. We were also able to visit some relatives who live nearby (NYC is my home town!). We had perfect weather the whole time, and we flew home with great memories of this wonderful NYC Experience.
A big thank you goes to the staff at JFCS for all their hard work in coordinating all the details! Kudos to Wendy Manasse, Kathryn Miles, Pattie Davidson, and Karen Eddington!