Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fundraiser for legendary birder Marty Sohmer now official

The official campiagn to raise funds for a Central Park bench memorializing Marty Sohmer is in a roll. Marty Sohmer, who lived at Lefferts Gardens on Prospect's east side, passed away several years ago, and birders affectionately knew him for his great stories and always cheerful help  towards others becoming better birders.

If interested, here is a note from Ebirds Yahhoo groups moderator Phil Jeffreys:


with the memo line "in memory of Marty Sohmer, park bench”

and mail it to:

Marty Sohmer Park Bench

c/o Chris Cooper

619 E 11th St 5A

New York, NY 10009

Be sure to include your RETURN ADDRESS. And please be as generous as

you can. With everyone’s help, I’m sure we’ll be gathering around

Marty’s Bench in no time!

*Marty on the left with Shale (right)

From Chris Cooper:

It's official: The fundraising campaign for a memorial to the late
Marty Sohmer, one of the best beloved birders in the metro area and an
all-around fine human being, starts here.

Many of you remember Marty, a warm, generous, one-of-a-kind character
who frequented both Central Park and Prospect Park, taught a lot of us
so much of what we know about our birds, and played a big part in
fostering the community atmosphere that prevails in our metro birding
circles. This lifelong blue-collar Brooklynite (with the accent to prove
it!) mingled with birders of every stripe, high and low, and shared his
knowledge and love of the birds so freely that it made us all feel rich.

Now's our chance to pay him back. In his honor, we plan to
"adopt" a bench in Central Park in or near the Ramble, through
the Central Park Conservancy, which oversees the bench program.
We've all seen the park benches with plaques commemorating people
and events; we're overdue for one dedicated to a birder, and
there's no finer representative of what's best about birders than

Our goal is to raise $7,500—the cost of adopting a bench--by
November 1. Contributions are tax deductible, and what's more, every
penny is a contribution to the park, to help keep it a green oasis we
can return to year after year. If you were planning to donate to the
Central Park Conservancy anyway, this is a great way to do it.
Plus—since we have a pledge to match contributions up to the cost of
the bench—every dollar you give is worth TWICE as much, giving you
even more bang for your buck.