Aspinwall woman helps lead park party effort

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Sarah Tuthill is busy with her volunteer position of co-chairing the River Rocks party to benefit the Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

She knows it's going to be a great party.

And she knows the park is going to be a great addition to Aspinwall.

“It's all part of the plan,” Sarah says. “You start to see some of the evolution.”

Volunteers have been cleaning weeds and brush from the site.

They are putting in flowers. The old house has been razed.

Sarah is excited by the waterfront clubhouse, which has been painted and spruced up. Her first thought when seeing the space with a patio overlooking the river was, it's a great place for a party.

The clubhouse will serve as the venue for the pre-party party before the May 24 fundraiser.

The roaring twenties is the theme of this year's River Rocks fundraiser. Sarah and her cochairmen started throwing ideas around back in January but soon they honed in on the Great Gatsby idea.

“We were right on the trend — with the movie opening May 10,” she says.

Ideas for the fundraiser soared as Sarah, Diane Walsh and Amanda Carvelli discussed all the tie-ins, such as a speak-easy bar and vintage cars.

“This party is more about having fun in honor of a good cause. Come and enjoy yourself and leave with a good feeling about this park and this community,” Sarah says.

Sarah has been a chairman of the River Rocks fundraiser since it began three years ago.

“This is my way of helping,” Sarah says.

The mother of two girls finds ways of helping just by stepping out her front door.

Deep friendships have evolved while waiting for the school bus.

A favorite pastime of Sarah's is to sit on her front porch reading and relaxing with a beverage.

Soon, local children and neighbors join her and an impromptu party poops up.

The Third Avenue resident enjoys organizing parties.

And, at times in her life, She has considered becoming a professional party planner.

However, Sarah is eager to write and design, too.

Until last week, Sarah has concentrated on working as a communication specialist. Her major client was Ellis School, which she attended.

She has worked the deadlines and crunched her time, but she is changing gears now.

Through a friend, Kim Pelcher, Sarah is putting more effort into another interest. This month, Kim is opening Splurge, a store along Freeport Road that sells accessories, gift ideas, home decorations and design services.

For Sarah, working at the store provides a chance to get out from behind her computer and help people. She said she has a knack for putting rooms together and has confidence she can help others.

The Aspinwall resident did an apprenticeship when she was younger at a Shadyside store.

Everything seems to be changing right now for Sarah but she's ready to keeping moving ahead. Whether she is party-planning, writing, or designing, she enjoys meeting new people and learning new things.

Sharon Drake is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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