BUFFALO, NY – The first annual Spring into Summer fundraising luncheon scheduled for Thursday, June 4 will take place as planned for the purpose of recognizing community and Conservancy supporters while raising awareness for its mission. Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy leaders are adjusting the event to respectfully remember Maksym Sugorovsky with the wearing of green ribbons by the 400 guests and by holding a moment of silence during the invocation.
“We believe the work of the Conservancy must continue, including events that will raise awareness of our mission and highlight those individuals and organizations that contribute in so many ways to our future,” noted Conservancy Executive Director Stephanie Crockatt.
Proceeds from the first annual Spring into Summer luncheon will benefit the Conservancy, which cares for Buffalo’s treasured Olmsted landscapes – the first complete system of parks, parkways and landscaped circles in the country.
When Frederick Law Olmsted was commissioned to design a park for Buffalo in 1868, it was business and community leader William Dorsheimer who issued the invitation. On Thursday, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy will present a new award in his honor to the Days Park Block Club.
The William Dorsheimer Community Partner Award recognizes commitment to park stewardship, community bridge building and the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted. Formed in 1987, the Days Park Block Club is one of the oldest continuing block clubs in the city. Its ongoing efforts to restore and preserve Days Park have been recognized by the City of Buffalo’s Civic Empowerment Award and Preservation Buffalo Niagara’s Stewardship Award. The club was also a finalist for the Great Parks/Great Community Place Award, sponsored by the Project for Public Spaces.
One of the city’s first public parks, Days Park in the Allentown National Historic District is named for Thomas Day, who donated the space as perpetual parkland in 1859. The block club restored the park’s historic fountain and continues to make an impact in the eclectic neighborhood, where property values have increased significantly. Club representatives also helped to develop the Conservancy’s Plan for the 21st Century. Net proceeds raised for a club-sponsored barbeque and a showing of the WNED-TV production Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America last year went to support the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
Volunteer of the Year Awards will be given to Jim Mendola and Nancy DeTine. Since his retirement as medical librarian for the Buffalo VA Medical Center, Jim Mendola has been the Conservancy’s volunteer archivist. He has archived hundreds of historical park items, helped secure grant funding, and was instrumental in the effort that resulted in the American Planning Association’s designation of Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America. Mendola organized the exhibit that accompanied the premier of Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America at the studios of WNED-TV. He also provided 500 vintage postcards and photographs of the parks from his personal collection to the New York State Heritage website.
Mendola’s wife, Nancy DeTine, is a marketing communications professional who devotes volunteer hours to strategizing, writing and editing the Conservancy’s communication materials. She is a member of the newly formed marketing advisory committee, which is developing branding for the Conservancy. DeTine was a founding partner of the advertising firm Mitchell DeTine &. Neiler.
Event sponsors include Bank of America, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Delaware North, M&T Bank, Colucci & Gallaher PC and Mass Mutual. Janis Dunworth and Christine Wiktor are chairwomen of the event. Lauren Hall of News 4 Wake Up! will be the M.C.
The fundraising luncheon will take place at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall, one of the Conservancy’s cultural partners. The venue’s location on Symphony Circle is part of Buffalo’s historic system of Olmsted parks and parkways. Guests will don their smartest spring hat or bow tie and share stories of their favorite Olmsted park. The luncheon is sold out, donations may be made to the Conservancy by visiting, bfloparksapp.wpengine.com, or by calling 716-838-1249, extension 10.
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ABOUT THE BUFFALO OLMSTED PARKS CONSERVANCY
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation to manage and operate an entire urban park system that consists of 850 acres of beautifully designed parks, parkways and circles. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a not-for-profit, membership-based, community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the Greater Buffalo area for current and future generations. More than 2.5 million people use Buffalo’s historic, award-winning Olmsted Park System annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. The parks were designed by America’s first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, more than 145 years ago. Basic maintenance of the parks has been greatly improved since the groundbreaking public/private agreement with the City of Buffalo and Erie County in 2004. Since that time, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, now partnering with the City of Buffalo, has retained full responsibility for the management and care of these green spaces, which are listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Most recently, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America.
The Olmsted Park System includes:
Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo, Delaware Park in Delaware/Parkside District, Front Park at the Peace Bridge, Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Fillmore Avenue, Riverside Park at Niagara and Tonawanda Street, South Park at McKinley Parkway
Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond
Eight Landscaped Circles:
Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers, and Symphony