In Lieu of Flowers, Ivana Trump's Funeral Guests Will Donate to This Charity

Trump's celebration of life will be as glamorous and philanthropic as she was, hosted in a gothic Upper East Side church on Wednesday

Socialite Ivana Trump, circa 1992. (Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)
Photo: Kypros/Getty

Ivana Trump will get a flashy send-off in New York City on Wednesday, as friends and family gather at the St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church to celebrate her life.

Trump — who passed away at the age of 73 Thursday from injuries sustained during a fall — was all about glamor, according to R. Couri Hay, society columnist who knew Trump for more than 40 years. Hay tells PEOPLE that her funeral will honor that dazzling legacy.

"We are really grateful to the family, especially her children, for arranging this big, glamorous send-off with all of her friends," Hay says. "This would have been what she wanted."

The invite-only service will occur steps from Trump's longtime Upper East Side residence Wednesday afternoon, in an "old-school" and "beautiful" church. Hay says that many of her closest friends and family will be there.

PEOPLE confirms that her three children — Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric — all plan to attend. Sources close to the family presume that former President Donald Trump, her ex-husband whom she had remained close with, will also be in attendance.

"People are flying in from all over the world," Hay says, noting that guests are traveling from places like Saint-Tropez and Paris on "relatively short notice."

Rather than bring flowers, PEOPLE learns, the Trump family has kindly requested that funeral guests make a donation to Big Dog Ranch Rescue, a Florida-based nonprofit organization aiming to minimize dog homelessness.

The rescue has a longstanding relationship with Trump and wrote after her passing that she "was philanthropically involved with many charities throughout her entire life, but always remained steadfast and passionate in her love for animals."

"She would be happy, as are all her friends, that she is getting a fitting funeral," Hay says. "It's all a tribute to her."

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