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Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy announces 2020 'FLO Gala Denim & Diamonds' at home

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Fri, Aug 14th 2020 11:20 am

Funds will support conservancy’s ongoing efforts to maintain & sustain Buffalo’s Olmsted parks, landscapes

Typically near the busy Labor Day weekend, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy holds its annual Frederick Law Olmsted Gala with the beautiful backdrop of a historic park. While guests aren’t able to be together this year, the venue is creatively offering a virtual, reimagined event that will showcase much of the fun and fanfare the sparkling in-person event is known for.

This virtual at home event will be held online, Aug. 24-28, via the digital platform OneCause. From here, guests will be able to make donations, bid on silent auction items, flip through this year’s program book and watch program videos.

The conservancy has teamed up again with Salvatore’s Hospitality to provide a family-style meal that will be available for curbside pickup on Friday, Aug. 28. Guests can order dinners directly on the virtual event website in servings of two, four or eight. In offering another form of collaborative charitable support, guests may also donate their meals back to two community organizations: the City Mission and Back to Basics Ministries.

“The parks have always been important to our family, but now, more than ever, we are taking advantage of these beautiful green spaces for physical activity, fun and mental wellness,” said Bart and Melissa Kresse, “FLO Gala” co-chairs. “We are proud to support this year’s virtual gala and we call on the community, especially those who have benefitted from the conservancy’s critical work over the last several months.”

To fulfill the promise of its “Denim & Diamond” dinner and show, the conservancy and WKBW-TV Channel 7 have been working on a 30-minute gala special, “Olmsted’s Sparkle of Summer,” which will air Friday, Aug. 28 (7:30 p.m.). Hosted by Linda Pellegrino and Melanie Camp, the program will feature clips and insights into this challenging park season. Viewers will hear from the co-chairs, with a host of congratulations to “FLO” awardees Judy Dean and Jock Mitchell, and a cocktail-making segment on the “FLO-tini” with Lockhouse Distillery.

"I am pleased to support this year's virtual gala and encourage city residents and visitors to do the same so we can continue to enjoy the beauty and safety of our Olmsted parks, parkways and circles ," Mayor Byron Brown said. "Park usage continues to climb as more people seek safe outdoor and open-air spaces. Your support for our parks is critically important. I thank the conservancy for its valuable role in administering and maintaining our world-class Olmsted parks system, and I congratulate this year's ‘FLO’ awardees, Judy Dean and Jock Mitchell."

“Raising support for the Olmsted parks has never been more important as nature cannot be paused, and our community’s need for open space right now is critical,” said Stephanie Crockatt, conservancy executive director. “Our increasing role as a nonprofit service provider means an increase in the cost of safety supplies, equipment and parks personnel. Every gift we receive is a direct investment into the parks. Please help us sustain what’s sustaining you.”

A press release said, “With the usage of parks up almost 40% throughout the Olmsted system, maintenance is key. Especially now, without the benefit of volunteer groups, the labor and resources required to keep the Olmsted parks clean, healthy, and accessible falls squarely on the conservancy. Net proceeds from the virtual event will support the nonprofit’s mission to proudly provide quality public space for everyone to enjoy.”

For more information on “Denim & Diamonds” at home or how to support Buffalo’s Olmsted Parks and Conservancy, visit www.bfloparks.org/flo2020.

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