D&R Greenway News

D&R Greenway Land Trust Announces Return to the “Speakeasy” at the Masquerade Ball

Masquerade Ball

Return to the “Speakeasy”
Saturday, October 28
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Hillside Farm, Hopewell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 11, 2023, Princeton ~

D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Masquerade Ball, featuring musicians and visual artists, will be held at Hillside Farm on the evening of October 28, from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. Tickets to the event are available starting from $250 and can be purchased at www.drgreenway.org or by calling D&R Greenway at 609-924-4646. Proceeds support D&R Greenway’s work to preserve and care for land and provide public trails where people can benefit from being outdoors in nature. Guests at the Masquerade Ball will enjoy first time access to the private estate home, formerly owned by philanthropist Betty Wold Johnson and donated to D&R Greenway by her sons, owners of the Jets football team.

The Masquerade Ball will celebrate the vision and legacy of the late Betty Wold Johnson, in whose honor her family donated the 800-acre Hillside Farm to D&R Greenway in 2021. A fierce champion of conservation and decades-long partner with D&R Greenway for land preservation, Betty Wold Johnson spent forty years assembling the estate, which encompasses extraordinary expanses of farm fields, meadows and forests, as well as historic structures and a Revolutionary War encampment site. She lived at Hillside Farm, where she built a distinctive home that uniquely interprets the past using modern materials and amenities.

The addition of Hillside Farm to the long list of properties preserved by D&R Greenway is just one more example of why I am proud to support their work.  This incredible property will be a tremendous asset for everyone in our community and I am thrilled it will be there, preserved and cared for, for future generations to enjoy.”~ Daniel Motto, Trustee, D&R Greenway Land Trust

The theme of the Masquerade Ball is a return to the “speakeasy” culture of the 20s, 30s and 40s. A “secret” password will open the door to the private estate residence for registered guests. Libations and hors d’oeuvres will be served in the house and can be enjoyed in hidden nooks and crannies guests may discover. Scrumptious cheesecake desserts from Maddalena’s will top off the evening.

Live music from the era will keep the mood swinging and toes tapping throughout the evening. Bassist Justin Lee will lead a talented jazz trio with guitarist Raúl Abbad and singer Monika Ryan, a New York style classic jazz singer who recently released her fourteenth album, “Playfully.” The local trio is a D&R Greenway community favorite; most recently they wowed the crowd at September’s Harvest Moon Ball at Point Breeze.

Adding to the beauty of the evening, four artist members of the Garden State Watercolor Society will collaborate throughout the evening to paint watercolor landscapes depicting Hillside Farm. Guests may bid on a painting to take home, a memorable piece of artwork created before their eyes during an unforgettable evening.

As the sun sets over the Hopewell hills, specially designed Art Deco-style lanterns will add a soft glow to the ambience of the evening, “lighting the way to preservation.” The lanterns will also be available as keepsakes to the highest bidders.

Guests are welcome to attend attired in fashions of the era, or to come as they are, all in the spirit of fun and romance. This is a perfect opportunity to gather friends to experience another era with a cool vibe, all the while supporting land preservation.

“This event will be as exciting and vibrant as the significant property where it is being hosted. Layered with history and preserved in perpetuity, Hillside Farm is the perfect place to relive the best parts of the past as we celebrate its important future.”  ~ Diana Moore, Trustee, D&R Greenway Land Trust  

Proceeds from sponsorships and auction items will support D&R Greenway’s work to open Hillside Farm as a public preserve in the future. The property, most of which lies in Hopewell Township, is larger than Hopewell Borough. It is contiguous with two other D&R Greenway preserves (Cedar Ridge and Sourlands Ecosystem) and has sweeping views of D&R Greenway’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve across town. It provides critical habitat for birds and other wildlife. Altogether, D&R Greenway has protected over 3,000 acres of land in the immediate area. The Masquerade Ball is a sneak peek at the beginning of a preserve and an opportunity to support its creation, while celebrating the legacy of Betty Wold Johnson to preserve land and forge community.

Admission to the Masquerade Ball on October 28 is by advance ticket purchase by October 23 at www.drgreenway.org or by calling (609) 924-4646. 

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About D&R Greenway Land Trust: D&R Greenway Land Trust is an accredited nonprofit that has reached a new milestone of over 22,000 acres of land preserved throughout central New Jersey since 1989. By protecting land in perpetuity and creating public trails, it gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. The land trust’s preserved farms and community gardens provide local organic food for residents of the region—including those most in need. Through strategic land conservation and stewardship, D&R Greenway combats climate change, protects birds and wildlife, and ensures clean drinking water for future generations. D&R Greenway’s mission is centered on connecting land with people from all walks of life.

Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages and www.drgreenway.org to learn about the organization’s latest news and in-person and virtual programs. D&R Greenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place, Princeton NJ 08540.  The best way to reach D&R Greenway staff is by sending an e-mail to info@drgreenway.org or by calling D&R Greenway at 609-924-4646.

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