Fox Families Care is swinging into spring with the goal of helping even more families in the Fox Chapel Area School District.

The nonprofit is hosting its second annual fundraiser, filled with dancing, food and festive cocktails at the Fox Chapel Golf Club.

“It will be a lighthearted evening, open to all, to mingle with friends and raise funds and awareness to support our community,” said Executive Director Nicole Shirk.

Founded in 2019, Fox Families Care works to show children with less advantages that the community has their back, President Paulette O’Donnell said.

“All children should be treated the same whether they have money or not,” she said.

“We want to give them inspiration to do well.”

The event is 7 to 10 p.m. April 12, with a VIP reception starting at 6 p.m. Attendees should dress in cocktail attire. There will be dinner stations and live and silent auctions.

Proceeds help fulfill the group’s mission to “bridge the gap between the needs of children and families with available resources.”

In 2023, the needs were steep.

Shirk said programs and services served more families than ever, with requests for emergency assistance grants nearly double those from 2022.

“Requests for Thanksgiving dinner gift cards tripled, and holiday gift requests we fulfilled grew 34%,” she said.

“We strive to never turn away a family facing a season of hardship.”

In 2023, Fox Families Care distributed more than 600 holiday gifts and 375 winter coats to children in need. More than 800 bedding items went out, along with nearly 400 back-to-school backpacks.

The group gave about 180 scholarships for experiences at Camp Guyasuta and other summer adventures, along with 35 scholarships for extracurriculars.

O’Donnell credited donors for stepping up and supporting the mission through last year’s inaugural Swing into Spring fundraiser.

Members work with school counselors, nurses, teachers and administrators to connect community members in need with resources — all while maintaining confidentiality and dignity.

O’Donnell, who was among the group’s co-founders, said efforts hit the ground running once economic disparities in the Fox Chapel Area School District were fully realized. She said the district is comprised of 30% families who are disadvantaged.

“I gathered a few friends, and we’ve been raising money ever since to help those at risk,” she said.

To purchase tickets for the event, or to get involved or request information about available services, visit

Tawnya Panizzi is a TribLive reporter. She joined the Trib in 1997. She can be reached at

If you go
Who: Fox Families Care
What: Swing Into Spring
When: 6 to 10 p.m. April 12
Where: Fox Chapel Golf Club
Details: Tickets start at $125 and are for sale at