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Follies raises $100K for Aspinwall Riverfront Park

| Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Tom McGee | The Herald
The Aspinwall Riverfront Park received $100,000 from the Fox Chapel Follies, sponsored by the Fox Chapel District Association. From left are Tim McLaughlin, president of the association, Traci Beard and Philip Beard, writers of the Fox Chapel Follies.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Susan Crookston presents Philip and Traci Beard a gift on the final night of the Follies expressing gratitude for funds for the Aspinwall Riverfront Marina project.

The annual Fox Chapel Follies was no joke for the Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

The park will receive $100,000 from money raised at the show last month. The musical-comedy revue raised $120,000 total.

Philip Beard, who wrote this year's program along with his wife, Traci, said the amount raised broke the fundraising record set in 2010, the year of the last show. That production brought in $75,000.

The show is put on by the Fox Chapel District Association, which helps fund beautification projects throughout the area. It donated the first $50,000 to the park when the project was first starting.

“It was really a natural,” Beard said.

He said the money isn't the only thing the Follies gave to the park.

“Not just the money but the additional exposure of bringing close to 1,500 potential donors in to see the show and hear about the marina,” Beard said.

The donation also puts the park close to a fundraising goal.

Susan Crookston, who has led the park project, said an anonymous donor has agreed to match fundraising when it reaches $350,000.

“That's a huge help in getting us to reach that goal,” Crookston said.

Crookston said she is optimistic that organizers can reach the goal. With the Follies donation and others, the park is about $12,000 away from the $350,000 mark.

Organizers hope to have part of the park open by next year. The site now is closed to the public while construction at the site continues.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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