Robin Pogrebin tells the story in the New York Times of a High Line social debut:
The long, elegantly decorated tables were packed with luminaries of the New York social circuit, including Oscar de la Renta, Martha Stewart, Harvey Weinstein and Jerry Seinfeld.
Joshua David, a founder of Friends of the High Line, which had saved the structure from demolition and spearheaded its revival, had just announced a $10 million challenge grant to the project from the media mogul Barry Diller and his wife, the fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, prompting a standing ovation. Suddenly, a leggy brunette in a cropped bob, flouncy Roberto Cavalli minidress and slingback, peep-toe heels by Christian Louboutin (who was in attendance) rose from her seat, approached Mr. David in the middle of his remarks, whispered in his ear and took over the microphone.
She was Lisa Maria Falcone, she said, and she and her husband, Philip A. Falcone, were so excited about the High Line and so moved by Mr. Diller and Ms. von Furstenberg’s gift that they decided to match it.
This unscripted, somewhat messy moment may go down in the annals of cultural philanthropy as the debut of a major new donor on the New York scene. Although the Falcones have given money before to the High Line and other organizations, they have usually done it less conspicuously. But little by little Ms. Falcone — along with her husband, No. 296 on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires — is stepping into the spotlight, beginning the transition from one wealthy patron among many to the kind of highly visible player sought after by the city’s leading arts organizations.
Philanthropist with a Sense of Timing Raises her Profile (New York Times)