Friday, April 21, 2023
7:00 PM – Midnight
Terrace on the Park
Flushing Meadows Park, New York
Dress to Impress
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Meet Our Honorees
Jackson Heights Beautification Group
Non-profit devoted to preservation and well-being of life in Jackson Heights
The Jackson Heights Beautification Group (JHBG) is a grassroots not-for-profit organization founded in 1988 with the mission of promoting the well being and quality of life in our unique Queens, New York neighborhood. That mission is served throughout the year via a wide array of JHBG’s diverse civic, environmental and arts programming.
Past President NYSACAC
Former Garden School Administrator
1991 – 2008
Joan Zinner graduated from Finch College in 1964 and began her career as a nursery school teacher at Robin Hill Nursery School in her hometown of Suffern, NY. After taking time away from teaching to raise her daughter, she returned to school life as one of the founders of the two-year old program at Temple Israel’s early childhood program in 1975. She was the director of admission at Manhattan’s Episcopal School and then opened The Laughing Giraffe, an educational toy store (featured in New York Magazine) on East 72nd Street. Joan’s transition to college counseling in the early 1980s began at The McBurney School on the Upper West Side and continued at The New Lincoln School until its merger with The Walden School in 1989. The head of school at what was then known as New Walden Lincoln was none other than Richard Marotta, and so began a friendship and work partnership that lasted until her death. Richard coaxed her to Jackson Heights in 1991 with the promise of a parking space and a 4-day week, but what he really gave her was a second home, a place where she met her closest colleagues and worked every day with students who inspired her.
During her tenure at Garden, Joan was director of college counseling, director of upper division admissions, and ultimately, head of the upper division. Joan worked with Mary Maisano to create the first Walk-a-Thon and this quickly became both a beloved community tradition and an important school-wide fundraiser. She worked with Richard Marotta to develop and implement the English Language Academy (ELA), a program that has continued to bring talented international students to Garden School where they have thrived and enhanced our community.
Joan was a leader within the New York State Association for College Admissions (NYSACAC), serving as president from 1992-1993 and receiving the association’s highest honor, the President’s Award, in 2000. Her service to the profession she loved included committee service for not only NYSACAC but also the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) and The College Board, which recognized her service the Bernard P. Ireland Award in 2006.
Joan was elegant, generous and supportive. She was an avid traveler, a talented needlepointer, an enthusiastic shopper and an expert in her field. She is missed, but her legacy — at Garden and beyond — remains.
Meet Our Event Chairs
Thank You to our 2023 Sponsors
$10,000 - Griffin-Level Sponsors
$5,000 - Blue-Level Sponsors
$2,500 - White-Level Sponsors
Thank You Also to our Special Supporters...
2023 Gala Journal
Thank you to all of our sponsors, our classes, and those who purchased an ad in this year’s Journal!
First held in 2010, the Garden Gala is one of Garden School’s most important fundraiser. It is a yearly event attended by all members of the Garden Community including alumni, parents, alumni parents, faculty, administration, members of the senior class and friends of the school. The Garden Gala helps support the school’s mission of offering the finest education in Queens at the lowest tuition of any NYSAIS accredited, Queens independent school.