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Sugar and Games for Kiddie Benefit

May 8, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Kids for Kids Day Wollman Rink in Central Park Sunday, 04.28.02, 1 PM to 5 PM
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Rain and a cloudy sky didn't dampen the mood at Wollman Rink in Central Park, where a slew of celebrities, well-to-do parents and their kids converged to partake in the ninth annual Kids for Kids Day fund-raiser (one of our Top 100 events) hosted by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The four-hour event, produced by Jennifer Nepo and Empire Entertainment, was a fun-filled frenzy of games, food and entertainment.

The main tent housed carnival and sporting games lead by celebs including Caroline Rhea, Cynthia Nixon, Natalie Portman, Michael Douglas, Ellen Barkin and Gloria Reuben. Volunteers with Polaroid cameras were on hand to get snapshots of guests with their favorite stars while playing games like tic-tac-toe, pop-a-shot and milkman throw. As kids racked up winning game tickets, they bombarded the FAO Schwarz toyland set up in the main tent to choose prizes from the latest and greatest toys and games.

Other entertainment options were plentiful. On the main stage, the Power Rangers, Silly Billy and novelty acts from Antigravity performed. Makeup artists from PeanutButter did face painting on the young guests and Infusion Body Art applied temporary tattoos. Camryn Manheim lent a hand in the jewelry-making booth, and a hat-making booth was led by fashion designer Cynthia Rowley (who opted for the low-key area to avoid the pesky Frisbees that kept hitting her last year, she said). An art studio provided a creative free-for-all with paint, glitter, clay and every other art supply imaginable. (Smocks were optional, and highly recommended.) Kids and parents were invited to personalize the mural walls, which were donated to pediatric wards in New York area hospitals.

A break-out tent housed more hands-on fun, including Nickelodeon's interactive game lab, VH1's make-your-own-video booth, and MTV's Say What? Karaoke area, where kids donned sunglasses and boas to perform pop tunes. Pipino Salon set up a makeover station for guests to update their hair and makeup. (Even Donald Trump stepped in for a touch-up.)

Those wanting a break from the hype headed to the storytelling tent where Debra Messing, Eric Nies and Hallie Kate Eisenberg read from popular children's books.

The food tent was an adventure in itself, and there was no shortage of sugar: Gotham Bar and Grill offered a build-your-own-ice-cream-cone bar surrounded by lollipop trees, Dylan's Candy Bar circulated giant candy bowls filled with sugary treats, and Max & Mina's set up an ice cream shop with kid-pleasing flavors like chocolate Oreo. More than 30 restaurants participated (the JonathanMorr Group coordinated the group), and offered up their best items in kid-friendly form, including grilled turkey and goat cheese sandwich triangles from Mercer Kitchen and frozen hot chocolate with whipped cream from Serendipity 3. Other restaurants on hand included Canteen, Mesa Grill, Citrus Bar & Grill, Fresco by Scotto, Gramercy Tavern,Slate, Patroon, Theo, Monkey Bar, Republic, Thom, Strip House and Town.

Several speakers, including Kate Carr, CEO of the foundation, gave short speeches near the end, and boy band O-Town wrapped things up with an upbeat performance that had the young crowd bouncing and screaming.

--Jill Musguire

See the gift bag from this event...

Read about last year's event...

Read about other kid-friendly charity benefits:

Kids in Candyland fund-raiser for the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House...

Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Bunny Hop...

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