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Central Park in autumn splendor was the scene of a very special picnic in honor of Balto, the single representative of canine sculpture in New York City’s flagship park.

The much loved sculpture by Frederick George Richard Roth depicts the famous sled dog, Balto, who led the team that raced through hurricane-force winds and minus-50-degree temperatures to bring serum to the diphtheria stricken town of Nome, Alaska, in 1925.

The “Lunch with Balto” event, sponsored by Eukanuba Dog Food, was a celebration of the sculpture’s endowment by Richard and Karen Lefrak, in honor of Mrs. Lefrak’s birthday.

Joining Mr. and Mrs. Lefrak at the event were their Standard Poodles, “Co-Chair Dogs” Jewel and Diamond and Ch Ale Kai Mikimoto on Fifth;. Doug Blonsky, President of the Central Park Conservancy and Central Park Administrator; Julie Franklin, The Iams Company’s External Relations Coordinator; and author Gay Salisbury.

Special guests at the party were Mrs. Libby Pataki and New York State’s “first dog,” a chocolate Labrador Retriever who just so happens to be named Balto.

Dogs from all over New York City brought their owners to bask in the crisp fall air and enjoy a special tribute to Balto and the wonderful Park where he resides.

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