Mushroom Festival’s Spring Gala celebrates its 30th anniversary and awards $80,000 in grants to 47 local organizations
The Mushroom Festival Spring Gala celebrated the people and supporters that make the annual September fungi celebration the huge success it is on April 17.
“The Spring Gala is always very symbolic for the Mushroom Festival,” said Randy Lieberman, president of the Mushroom Festival’s Board of Directors in his opening remarks, “because it concludes the past year’s activities and acts as kick-off for the upcoming year.
“Anniversaries are always wonderful, magical, celebratory occasions and tonight is extra special because it kicks off our 30 year anniversary,” he continued.. “The past 30 years for the Mushroom Festival have been fantastic in so many ways. It has been defined by a kaleidoscope of happy memories, supportive partnerships and an enduring relationship with the Borough of Kennett Square. Yet in spite and despite the stumbling blocks along the way, the Mushroom Festival has endured the test of time and is now a famous nationally known event.”
Held at the Red Clay Room, the event was organized by Mushroom Festival Board members Gina Puocci, Jen Basciani, Anita Swayne, Michelle Gazdik, and Anita D’Amico.
Among the attendees were representatives from the 47 local non profit organizations that received a total of $80,000 in grants through the Mushroom Festival’s grant program. Click here to see the list of beneficiaries. Since instituting the grant program 15 years ago, the Mushroom Festival has given slightly over $700,000 back to the community in grants and donations.
At this year’s Spring Gala, RoRo Ferranto was announced as the 2015 Mushroom Festival’s Honorary Chairperson. “It is only fitting to bestow this title on RoRo, who along with two others (attorney Frank Felcetti and reporter Carol Berzon) started the Mushroom Festival back in 1985,” said Board Member Anita D’Amico in introducing Ferranto. “I asked Ro what she thought of what that little festival she started 30 years ago had become, and she responded that this was always her dream for the festival.” Ferranto received a standing ovation honoring her and her accomplishments.
State Senator Andy Dinniman presented two Pennsylvania Senate citations at the Spring Gala. First, the Pennsylvania honored RoRo Ferranto for her dedication to the community and leadership. Secondly, he read the proclamation congratulating the Mushroom Festival on its 30th Anniversary and citing its contributions to the region.
Gale Ferranto spoke on behalf of her mother RoRo, “My mother was diagnosed with ALS last year. It has taken her voice, but not her energy, spirit and enthusiasm,” she said. She read her mothers words, concluding, “It makes me very proud to walk the street at the Festival and awe over what this event has become. Thank you for tonight as it is an honor for me to associate with all of you!”
SCENES FROM THE SPRING GALA