Supporters of Pressley Ridge gathered at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium on August 7th to get the “scoop” on all the ways the organization is mobilizing resources to serve our community’s most vulnerable members.  This past Sunday, our zoo was also home to the 22nd Annual Pressley Ridge Ice Cream Fundae.  The signature fundraiser, presented by Huntington Bank, brought out thousands of participants in support of the Pressley Ridge’s mission to do “Whatever it takes to create success for children and families”.

Pittsburgh’s Hagan Premium Ice Cream donated 400 gallons of ice cream for participating companies to choose a flavor and rename.  As guests toured the zoo and aquarium they enjoyed some additional “sweet treats” outside of visiting the more than four hundred animals that reside there.  Local business volunteers served up twelve flavors of Hagan ice cream to sample, rallying support for their distinctive name and taste in hopes of being voted the coveted People’s Choice Silver Scoop Award.

Attendees enjoyed the likes of Huntington Bank’s “Funilla” (Vanilla), to TeleTracking’s “Teletastic Vanilla Peanut Butter Ripple”.  And because no “Fundae” is complete without some extras to top it off, ticket holders also enjoyed some additional amenities Pressley Ridge “sprinkled” into the event such as: a free T-shirt station, hydration stations, facepainting inside the aquarium, and a chance to meet and greet local mascots such as Mr. McFeeley at Water’s Edge. Event highlights included African drums played by Pressley Ridge kids from White Oak, WV and the acoustic sounds of Dylan Lindemuth & Tom Currey from November Blue.

As guests followed zoo trails they got a “taste” of the programs and services that Pressley Ridge provides to more than 5,400 children and families each year.  The organization offers innovative approach and models for foster care, therapeutic residential programs and special education (including those for the autistic and deaf communities), all with a goal of keeping the families together.

“Our goal is to ensure Pressley Ridge’s mission continues,” said Susanne Cole, President and CEO. “Ice Cream Fundae allows us to truly fulfill our mission. The funds raised by our generous sponsors and wonderful community supporters allow us to touch the lives of thousands of children and families each year.

“We do our fundraisers to help us raise money for services that may not come through our regular funding source,” said Laurah Currey, Pressley Ridge COO. “Sometimes we have families whose needs exceed the funding for that service.  When we have a fundraiser like this, we are able to use that money to help the family in whatever way they may need.”

Pressley Ridge’s Ice Cream Fundae is expected to raise nearly $100,000.00 for the organization.

The cherry to top off the “Fundae”event – the wrap up at PNC Pavilion where attendees could cast their ballots in one of the ice cream cones located on stage.  The closing ceremony kicked off at 8:30 pm.  Mass Mutual earned bragging rights for the next year as the 2016 People’s Choice Silver Scoop Award Winner with their popular scoop of “Good Morning, Sunshine!” (Maple French Toast).

Our vote – This do-not-miss event is definitely one of our city’s most enjoyable summer treats. The Pittsburgh Zoo, ice cream and Pressley Ridge seem to be the perfect trifecta.

To learn more about other “sweet” happenings at Pressley Ridge, visit their website at http://www.pressleyridge.org/.