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July 8, 2020
 
Show Goes on in Different Form for Mother's Day and Graduates
May 11, 2020 — Determined to stay focused on their mission despite the coronavirus pandemic, one Boston nonprofit, Friends of the Public Garden, cancelled its fiftieth anniversary celebration and restructured its annual Mother's Day celebration, while another, Boston Arts Academy Foundation, launched a new fundraising campaign to support graduating seniors.

Coronavirus Forces Friends of the Public Garden to Switch Gears


Friends of the Public Garden, a Boston nonprofit that advocates for protecting and improving the Public Garden, Boston Common, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall, responding to the coronavirus pandemic, cancelled its largest fundraiser of the year, the Green & White Ball, and adapted its annual Mother’s Day event into a “Virtual Duckling Day.”

The ball, originally set for May 1 at the Four Seasons hotel in Boston to celebrate the organization's fiftieth anniversary, was cancelled "as part of the broader community effort to support important public health goals."

Friends of the Public Garden had anticipated raising $700,000 at the ball to support the $1.5 million it directs to the parks each year. No replacement event is being planned.

Continuing to pivot in response to the pandemic, Friends turned its annual Duckling Day, an annual event celebrating Mother’s Day in the downtown parks, inspired by the classic children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings," into a virtual event.

Yesterday, more than 100 people tuned into the livestream, with nearly 700 people having viewed it so far. More than 30 families emailed or posted photos of their at-home participation, including crafts, and images from years past. Friends of the Public Garden gained 155 new followers on Facebook from the event.

“Duckling Day is such a beloved tradition for our city that happens rain or shine every year. This year is different, and though we couldn’t invite people to a gathering in the parks, we knew we had to find a way to adapt for these pandemic times. We’re so pleased at the community’s response and encouragement for times ahead,” said Liz Vizza, executive director of the organization.

Boston Arts Academy Foundation Launches Fundraising Campaign to Aid Graduates


With plans for graduating high school seniors thrown into disarray by the coronavirus pandemic, the Boston Arts Academy Foundation, a nonprofit that raises funds from private sources to augment the school's budget, recently launched a special fundraising campaign to help the 103 seniors prepare for college.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, BAA Foundation and BAA are concerned about all of our students, and the Class of 2020 in particular,” said BAA Foundation President Denella Clark. “Many of these talented seniors are poised to become the first in their families to pursue higher education. They require our admiration and heartfelt support now more than ever.”

While 96% of this year's graduating seniors have been accepted to college, many lack basic resources needed for future success, such as arts-intensive laptops, technology, and books, noted a foundation spokesman.

The foundation launched the “103 Reasons to Give” campaign, seeking to raise $200,000. A virtual kick-off on May 2, which raised $85,000, included a video that the foundation estimated has been seen by 3,500 people. In addition, the school's alumni network hosted a Zoom “Social disDANCING” dance party, in which more than 30 alumni from around the country gathered virtually to dance and donate to the campaign.

The pandemic is widely expected to alter the plans of many people who were planning to start or return to college in the fall. It is not yet known how many of the this year's Boston Arts Academy graduating seniors accepted into college will attend.
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