Trust for the National Mall Celebrates Annual BALL for THE MALL Gala with New Report

The State of the National Mall Report underscores ongoing need to improve the National Mall

Press Contact:
Kate Greenberg

(202) 407-9412

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 27, 2018) — The Trust for the National Mall, an official non-profit partner of the National Park Service, hosted its eleventh annual benefit event yesterday evening underneath the stars and amongst the monuments on the National Mall. This year’s event coincides with National Park Week, a celebration of America’s treasures that hold the stories of our history and culture. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer reprised his role as the Master of Ceremonies for the BALL for THE MALL, which featured dynamic speakers, honored two longtime National Mall volunteers, and showcased critical improvement projects on the National Mall. “Whether you visit the National Mall for the first time or hundredth time, it holds that moment of discovery and personal connection to our deep heritage,” said Catherine Townsend, President and CEO of the Trust for the National Mall. “More than ever, we need to close the funding gap that prevents critical park improvement projects from moving forward. We are asking all Americans to donate in support of our beloved National Mall.” 


link For the first time, the Trust has published a brief report highlighting the progress against the National Mall Plan. In 2010, the National Park Service developed the plan as a practical, ambitious but achievable vision for a sustainable National Mall where visitors feel welcomed and proud of the space that symbolizes our nation. The Trust for the National Mall has worked closely with the National Park Service to identify and prioritize key projects to deliver against this plan.

Unveiled at the BALL for THE MALL, the “State of the National Mall Report” provides updates and emphasis on what has been achieved to preserve and transform the Mall – along with a clear assessment of the ongoing but yet unmet needs that can be addressed with public and private funding.

With contributions from the National Park Service, partners, experts and visitors, the report specifically explores the issues of accessibility, environmental impact, and unprecedented use. The full report is available at


The benefit gala included an opening reception, seated dinner with guest speakers, and live music and entertainment. Support for the event was provided by: Premier Patron, David M. Rubenstein; Congressional & Diplomatic Reception Patron, Wells Fargo; After Party Patron, American Airlines; and many other generous sponsors.

For a complete list of BALL for THE MALL patrons, please visit

Event Program

As the centerpiece of the event program, the Trust for the National Mall welcomed author Cokie Roberts and her daughter, Rebecca Boggs Roberts, as keynote speakers. The two have published numerous books exploring the roles of women in U.S. history and recounting the untold and remarkable contributions of women to the country’s founding and its preservation. Notable titles include best-sellers Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, Capital Dames, and, the most recent release, Suffragists in Washington, D.C.

Last year’s recipient of the “History, Heroes, and Hope Award,” businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, introduced the keynote speakers. Rubenstein, the premier event sponsor, has given generously over the years through multiple gifts to express his dedication and continued support in restoring and improving the National Mall. 

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke presented the “History, Heroes, and Hope Award” to two distinguished, longtime National Mall volunteers. Secretary Zinke has demonstrated a lifelong appreciation for conserving America’s natural beauty and is a champion of conservation and smart management of federal lands.

History, Heroes and Hope Award

The Trust for the National Mall developed the “History, Heroes, and Hope Award” in 2014 to honor an individual, corporation or organization that embodies the visionary spirit and courage exemplified on the National Mall. This year the Trust selected two individuals who have made a significant contribution to the National Mall as longtime Volunteers-In-Parks participants.

Donald Adam has been a volunteer since 2002. Averaging more than 100 hours each month, he has amassed more than 20,000 volunteer hours on the National Mall. He has a personal connection to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and dedicates his time to help veterans and family members heal and connect to the spirit of service and sacrifice represented there.

Annmarie Emmet has been a volunteer since 1982. Annmarie has amassed well over 18,000 hours and has no plans of stopping any time soon. She has tirelessly climbed ladders and made thousands of rubbings of names for visitors who wish to have a keepsake of their visits to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

About Trust for the National Mall

Celebrating over ten years of partnership with the National Park Service, the Trust for the National Mall stewards private support to design and deliver modern and resilient solutions that will transform the visitor experience and preserve the historic legacy of the National Mall. The beloved but well-worn National Mall hosted more than 35 million visits in 2017 but requires more than $800 million in deferred maintenance and needed upgrades – the highest bill of any national park. This public-private partnership is a model for bringing critical resources to the National Mall.  Learn more and donate at

Press contact:

Kate Greenberg

(202) 407-9412