Friends and neighbors in southwest Germantown gathered at the historic Happy Hollow playground Sunday evening for a “Dinner Under the Stars” event.
The gathering was organized to raise money for the Kelly Green Project, an ongoing initiative between the Hansberry Garden and Nature Center (HGNC) and John B. Kelly Elementary to transform the school’s run-down playground into a healthy, nurturing green space for the entire community to enjoy.
Sunday’s “Dinner Under the Stars” event was a tribute to all that has already been accomplished and to the progress that hopefully awaits.
With volunteers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, who plan on organizing another fundraising event later this year, elegant tables settings and a buffet of food, including Hansberry Garden produce, welcomed guests as they arrived to enjoy an evening of community and conversation.
“This evening is a way to enjoy the company of our supporters and community and to bring more awareness to the Kelly Green Project,” said project chairman Dennis Barnebey. “We’re looking forward to a great night.”
The Kelly Green Project started when HGNC received a planning grant from the Community Design Collaborative in 2012.
After six months of planning, a design was proposed for the Kelly School’s playground to include space for active play, gardening, outdoor education and entertainment.
Supporters have since been working to gain community support and funding to bring the Kelly School playground dream to fruition.
This year has been one of growth and productivity for the project.
The initiative was awarded an “Activities Fund” grant by Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass. Whole Foods also accepted the Kelly Green Project into its “Nickels for Nonprofits” campaign, raising more than $1,500 for the project.
Correction: Dennis Barnebey’s name was incorrectly spelled in an earlier version of the story. NewsWorks apologizes for the error.