See all stories
16 Apr 2019

New York, New York

Written by Mark Bishop, Director of Customer & Cause
The National Trust for Scotland USA Foundation hold an annual gala event in New York (Matt Gillis Photography)
The National Trust for Scotland USA Foundation hold an annual gala event in New York (Matt Gillis Photography)
Director of Customer & Cause Mark Bishop pays tribute to the support of the National Trust for Scotland USA Foundation, on his return from their annual gala in New York City.

The love of Scotland reaches a long way – many people from all over the globe feel a special connection with this place that we call home.

And on an April evening in New York, that’s clearly evident. That’s when the National Trust for Scotland USA Foundation annual gala takes place, raising funds for important projects to protect heritage here in Scotland.

The event is run by a team who work all year round to plan for the event and seek donations from a variety of other means too, all in support of everything we do, for the love of Scotland.

The 2019 gala was again held at the Metropolitan Club, right by Central Park, and around 300 guests attended in a dazzling display of dresses and tartan colours.

Quote
“Everyone in the room felt such a strong connection with Scotland and they were very generous in their support.”
Mark Bishop, Director of Customer & Cause
The gala raises vital funds for our work here in Scotland (Matt Gillis Photography)
The gala raises vital funds for our work here in Scotland (Matt Gillis Photography)

The night raised $300,000 from the auction and ticket sales, which will go to restoring the impressive fountain at Culzean Castle, right on the coast in Ayrshire. The guests were really motivated to part with their money, knowing that there was a tangible project they had the power to make happen.

Another reason why everyone was so keen to support us was that a film shown on the night explained how a similar amount raised last year is being spent at the Hill House as part of the Box that’s being erected over the Mackintosh masterpiece. A cracking film featuring Neil Oliver, our President, gave everyone a stunning and exciting insight into the construction of the metal frame and ‘coat of armour’ mesh that will help protect the Hill House from the rain, and enable people to experience the property with elevated walkways. That sense of seeing last year’s donations turn into concrete – or should that be steel – was a great reward for so much love and loyalty.

Sculptor Andy Scott received the Great Scot Award
Sculptor Andy Scott received the Great Scot Award

A key part of the gala is the Great Scot Award. Over the years there have been some amazing recipients, including Sir Billy Connolly. This year it was an opportunity to honour the creator of The Kelpies, Andy Scott. The award gave Andy an opportunity to describe the labour of love that went into creating the epic and beautiful structures that so many people pass on the motorway each day and over five million people have visited in the last decade.

The evening had so many Scottish traditions and themes woven throughout. A piper signalled the arrival of the haggis, and our experienced MC and auctioneer, Alasdair Nicholls, delivered the ‘Address to the Haggis’ with suitable drama and humour. And later in the evening the main hall was filled with music and dance.

It’s a real privilege to be a part of a special event that is entirely inspired by a love for Scotland – roll on 2020!