Sewickley, PA June 3, 2024 – Fern Hollow Nature Center is thrilled to announce the success of the
Tropical Summer Soirée fundraiser held on June 1 st at the Sewickley Quarter. The event, which aimed to support the center's ongoing educational programs and conservation efforts, exceeded all expectations and raised almost $50,000.

Over 150 supporters attended the fundraiser, which filled the Sewickley Quarter's indoor and tented outdoor courtyards. VIP ticket holders enjoyed a pre-party reception with tropical cocktails, high-end
hors d'oeuvres, and live island music. Following the VIP reception, guests were welcomed with wearable orchids and a photo opportunity with our Polynesian greeters. Guests enjoyed tropical fare such as pork belly tacos with mango slaw, ahi tuna cucumber bites, prosciutto-wrapped grilled pineapple skewers, and a live kabob station.

The highlight of the evening was a performance by Tuika's Polynesian Island Magic. Everyone had the
opportunity to learn how to hula dance. All were delighted with a special dance performance, wowed by a daring fire dancer. After the performance, everyone danced the night away, led by Fern Hollow
educators Gretchen Barbera and Sam Burke, who got the dance floor hopping.

"We are overwhelmed by the generosity and support from our community," said Sam Capezzuto,
Executive Director at Fern Hollow Nature Center. "The funds raised will significantly enhance our ability to offer educational programs for all ages and continue our mission of fostering a deeper connection between people and nature. This year's special initiative is to renovate our Natural Outdoor Classroom. Guests were encouraged to donate to this special cause, and boy did they come through."

The event was made possible by a wonderful host committee, generous sponsors, and enthusiastic
attendees. Fern Hollow extends its heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to making this event a remarkable success.

Sponsors for the event include Presenting Sponsor First National Bank; ESMARK, Sewickley Car Store,
UPMC Health Plan, Goldberg, Kamin & Garvin LLP: Wimmer Family Foundation, Schenley Capital, Orr's Jewelers, Leanne Ford Interiors, Wildman Chalmers Design, Sewickley Academy, Diemert Insurance Inc., Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Ultimate Pastry, and Florabelle Design. This year's host committee included committee chairs Lauren Massy and Annie Batyko, and host families Jodi and George Hackett,Susan and Ron Kinser, Linda Pell and Lindsey Smith, Jena and Matthew Simmons, and Judy Wessels and Jim Morse.

Anne Ronce, Capital Campaign Manager at Fern Hollow, said, "The event was fabulous, a unanimous
opinion. From the orchids to the tropical drinks to the fire dancers. Every detail was just right."

Fern Hollow Nature Center will use the evening's proceeds to support educational programs that inspire environmental stewardship and to care for its beautiful 33-acre park.

This year's special project is the renovation of the Natural Outdoor Classroom, the first certified Nature Play area in Pennsylvania. Open to the public from dawn until dusk, the Natural Outdoor Classroom is used for weekly playdates where children explore, learn, and discover.

Lee Bollinger, Board member and Chair of the Grounds Committee, is looking forward to the renovation. "The momentum for continuing improvements at Fern Hollow is both infectious and expanding. From the astounding community participation at our Earth Day Cleanup to our new children's sensory garden, Fern Hollow continues its focus on ground improvements to provide children a vibrant and motivating outdoor experience."

The funding from this special appeal will be used to renovate two classroom areas- the music and
climbing areas. Fern Hollow is also hoping to complete the master plan for the classroom by adding two new areas: an art and messy/water area. The support from this fundraiser ensures that we can continue our vital work and make a lasting impact on our community and environment.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved or support Fern Hollow Nature
Center, please visit or contact Sam Capezzuto, Executive Director, at 412-741-6136.

Fern Hollow Nature Center, founded in 1997, is a place where individuals, groups, and families can enjoy the outdoors. It is the gateway to the area park system and a place where people can come to
understand the environment through educational programs for adults and children through the
appreciative use of the area. Fern Hollow Nature Center is located at 1901 Glen Mitchell Road,
Sewickley Heights.


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