Snug Harbor Announces the 36th Annual Neptune Ball

With one-of-a-kind cocktails and live festive jazz, this immersive experience supports Snug Harbor’s mission and programming

May 29, 2019 | Staten Island, NY— Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is excited to announce the 36th annual Neptune Ball for Friday, June 7, 2019 from 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM on Cottage Row at Snug Harbor on 1000 Richmond Terrace.


Due to the overwhelming interest in the society event of the year at this year’s Neptune Ball, tickets to the main event are sold out.  But it’s not too late for Staten Islanders to support Snug Harbor: Buy a Neptune Ball raffle ticket at, and you and a friend could win a vacation getaway to New Orleans for just $50!  (Event sponsorships are also still available with many high-visibility benefits.)

This three-night experience includes two roundtrip business class tickets from Delta Air Lines and three nights at an amazing Airbnb in the Marigny District, a lovely, safe neighborhood and a convenient walk to the French Quarter, with host Nick Williams, former Staten Island resident and recently featured on America’s Got Talent with wife Lindsay.  Also included in the raffle package are gift certificates to Emeril Lagasse restaurants Meril and NOLA, and free entry to the New Orleans Botanical Garden.  You do NOT have to be in attendance at the Neptune Ball to be a winner.  Individual raffle tickets are $50; a bundle of 3 raffle tickets is $100, and a bundle of 7 raffle tickets is $200.  Purchase your raffle tickets at .


Expect the unexpected at this year’s Neptune Ball!  Guests will see Cottage Row transformed in a brand new way, as the event activates new spaces and unique assets for a truly unforgettable, immersive experience. As guests enter the event on Cottage Row, they will be treated to a cocktail hour beyond their wildest dreams: a guitar performance in Cottage C from local performer Richard Peare, the danceable, energetic musical group Crossing Midnight in the White Garden, and a special virtual reality experience courtesy of Future of Storytelling outside Cottage E.  Roaming performance artists from Tati Entertainment will charm and delight throughout Cottage Row.  Snug Harbor Board Member and professional food & drink journalist Amy Zavatto curated unique specialty cocktails for the event, including Hurricanes, Sazeracs, and Pimm’s Cups garnished with Snug Harbor Heritage Farm produce as a one-of-a-kind touch.

The plated dinner service will be prepared by Relish Caterers at Celebrate Snug Harbor, with an emphasis on New Orleans-inspired fare.  During the dinner, there will be remarks from Snug Harbor leadership, honoree awards, a live auction of a “Foodie Fantasy” package, and a charitable paddle raise auction benefitting Snug Harbor.  The evening continues after dinner with an after-party on the lawn of Cottage D, with an encore performance by Crossing Midnight and dancing until 11:00 PM.

Event planning and design is provided by Gustavo Galván of Galván Event Design. The evening will include a live auction and a mission-driven paddle raise, both led by professional auctioneer Cate Smit. Sponsors to date include Empire Outlets, Atlantic Salt, Chubb Insurance, and Delta Air Lines. 

To purchase raffle tickets, sponsor the event, and learn about other ways to support the Neptune Ball, visit or contact Beth Scannapieco at 718-425-3511 and


At the awards ceremony, Snug Harbor will be honoring the following for their contributions to the community:

Robert Richard Randall Award for Corporate Service

Joseph Ferrara and Empire Outlets

Captain Randall Award for Volunteer Service

Dolly Smith

Joseph Ferrara is a second-generation builder with nearly 30 years of construction and development experience. As one of the creating principals of BFC Partners, Ferrara has been an integral part of the firm’s growth and has been responsible for the construction and development of over 10,000 affordable and market rate units throughout the city. Under his direction, BFC has received multiple marketing awards for branding, collateral material, interior design, and first-class sales galleries, and he is currently leading the marketing efforts for over 2 million square feet of mixed-use developments in addition to the firm’s latest project, Empire Outlets, the first retail outlet center in New York City.  Ferrara currently resides in Staten Island with his wife of 25 years, Elvira, and three children, with his eldest now working alongside him. In 2016 and 2017, Ferrara was ranked in the New York Commercial Observer’s top 100 list of the most powerful people in New York City’s real estate. He is a board member of the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC), the lead advocates for economic development in Staten Island.

Dolly Smith, a native Staten Islander, graduated from Staten Island Academy and attended Cedar Crest College until her wartime marriage to Naval Officer, Ken Smith. They have been married for 67 years. After working at Columbia University while Ken attended Law School, and after the birth of their son, Kenneth, Dolly began her very active 60-year career as a volunteer for many Staten Island organizations, including the Staten Island Botanical Garden (which later merged with Snug Harbor Cultural Center in 2008) where Dolly has served on the Board of Trustees since 1979 to the present day. Dolly has been on the board of the Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island since 1968. She was honored by the VNA in 2009 with the Smith Stanley Award for special contributions to promote community health and improve quality of life for the people of Staten Island. She served with the Women’s Auxilliary at Staten Island University Hospital for over 35 years, and has been active at the Staten Island Historical Society/Richmondtown Restoration for more than 40 years.

“The Neptune Ball is an event with a legacy,” said Aileen Fuchs, President & CEO of Snug Harbor.  “As we plan Snug Harbor’s next steps, we want to honor that legacy and bring it forward.  This year’s honorees embody the best of Snug Harbor’s past and future.  Where would we be today without the committed volunteerism and passion of Dolly Smith?  And with the investment and vision of Joe Ferrara, there is so much to be excited about for the years ahead.”

“I sat on the 2019 Neptune Ball Committee, so I’m especially excited about this year’s Ball,” said Amy Zavatto, Snug Harbor Board Member and renowned wine/spirits/food writer.  “I curated some special cocktails themed for the evening’s New Orleans-style celebration, paired with special garnishes grown right here on the Heritage Farm. Since I moved to Staten Island 17 years ago, Snug Harbor has often been a source of natural beauty and calm for me, and it felt important to give back to this incredible place.”

“The Future of StoryTelling (FoST) is honored to collaborate with our longtime partner, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, home of the annual FoST Summit since 2012,” said a FoST spokesperson. “Pushing the boundaries to redefine storytelling is at the heart of what we do at FoST, and we are delighted to help curate this remarkable lineup of VR experiences that take audiences on journeys across the world, to real and imagined gardens, and explore the hidden voices in nature. Snug Harbor’s beautiful, historic campus, its dedication to arts and culture, and its celebration and support of creativity in all its forms, makes it an invaluable resource to artists and audiences everywhere.”

Download: Press Release (PDF)


Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden’s historic 83-acre campus is one of the largest ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America, with 28 structures, 14 unique botanical gardens, 10 acres of wetlands, and a two-acre urban farm.  Our mission is to provide a vibrant, regional cultural destination that offers dynamic programming in the arts, education, horticulture, agriculture, and recreation for diverse cultures and all ages while ensuring a well-managed campus for all residents of Staten Island and surrounding communities.  Snug Harbor is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate. Learn more about Snug Harbor at