In 1986 White Plains Beautification Foundation held a breakfast hosted by Pace University
to help raise funds to build a gazebo in Tibbits Park. At the completion of this project, the
foundation realized the need to design a mechanism for raising funds necessary for creating,
planting, and maintaining present and future gardens and parklets. Inspired by Theodora
Russell’s adoptive care of a copper beech tree in Malmud Park, at the corner of Quarropas and
Grand streets, White Plains Beautification Foundation initiated its Adopt-A-Park Program.
Chaired by Barbara Vrooman, the program initially raised funds to facilitate the planting and
maintenance of 10 gardens. In 1991, that number grew to 25 gardens and in 2010 over 50.
As of 2011, Barbara continues to chair the Adopt-A-Park program, which has grown to include
over 130 participating sponsors, each donating from $250 to more than $10,000. Over three
million dollars have been raised under Barbara’s leadership as of 2011 through contributions
from corporations, small businesses, private foundations and residents of the city for the
establishment and care of WPBF’s many gardens.
Since 1995, an appreciation breakfast has been held each year to thank the sponsors for their
support. Bloomingdale’s has generously hosted the breakfast since 1998.