Thank You for a Successful Friends of a Feather 2018

Letter and recap from executive director Greg Goldman on the annual fundraising event.
Thank you for your generous support of Audubon Pennsylvania’s Friends of a Feather event in honor of two remarkable conservation leaders: Ann Chahbandour, who was presented with the Art Inspiring Conservation Award, and Penelope Wilson, who was presented with the Lifetime Legacy Award.

Your gift will support Audubon Pennsylvania’s conservation programs that reach under-served students throughout the state. Not only will this event provide students opportunities to connect them with birds and nature, but it was also a lot of fun as you can see here in the gallery of photos!

We wanted to share Penny’s speech with you: 

“Mill Grove is a place that John James Audubon's stepfather invested in as a potential lead mine. We can be thankful that Audubon got side-tracked into painting birds here instead of digging a mine!  Let's raise a glass to him!”

What a speech and what a legend. We also wanted to share an excerpt from Ann’s speech:

“Emily Dickinson wrote, ‘Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all.’ Together we are making sure that our birds continue to sing and when you next hear them chirping, stop and listen. Because it is their way of saying thank you.”

Thank you again for your support. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

With Gratitude,
Greg Goldman

Speech by Penny Wilson:
May 17, 2018

I am honored to be recognized for supporting an organization in which I see so much value. Mill Grove represents a sanctuary set aside where nature can flourish in the midst of a very busy metropolis. How wonderful to find a slice of peacefulness not far from the traffic of 76!

We owe much of this treasured place to the inspirations of John James Audubon, although it turns out he was a distracted young man!

Mill Grove is a place that John James Audubon’s stepfather invested in as a potential lead mine. We can be thankful that Audubon got side tracked into painting birds here instead of digging a mine! Let’s raise a glass to him!

Today, I have brought with me a gift with history behind it. “The Threatened Swan” was painted in 1650 by Jan Asselijn and is placed in the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. It depicts a frantic swan mother protecting her nest from an encroaching dog. The drama of the moment is easily recognized as well as the emotion. While intended as a political statement by the artist, I thought this to be quite appropriate for this bird haven tucked away here in Pennsylvania. Let’s all help this bird stay safe!

Thank you again.

Please browse through this slideshow to see the evening's activities:
Jean Bochnowski (JJAC Director) and the hard hat tour
Leigh Altadonna (APA Board and Mill Grove Advisory Board) and hard hat tour
Val Arkoosh (Chair Montgomery County Commissioners) and guest John Affleck
Ann Chahbandour, Jay Stiefel, Joly Stewart, Bill Valerio and Lisa Sullivan
Penny Wilson (awardee)
Val Arkoosh makes opening remarks
Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. welcomes guests
Penny Wilson with Karen Hayman and Scooter (Eastern Screech Owl Education Bird Ambassador)
Ann Chahbandour presents Penny Wilson with owl gift
Penny Wilson and family
Penny Wilson and guests
Ann, John and Dorothy Chahbandour
Ann Chahbandour's family
Joly Stewart and Anne Standish
Pavilion dinner under way with presentations
Greg Goldman (VP National Audubon Society and PA Audubon Executive Director), Ngoc Kim and Tykee James (Watershed Fellows)
Ngoc Kim and Tykee James (Watershed Fellows)
Ann Chahbandour, Jay Stiefel and guest Lita Solis-Cohen
Penny Wilson with great granddaughter Brittany Thompson
Amy Weidensaul (APA Deputy Director of Conservation) and APA Board Vice Chair Alan Barstow
Greg Goldman greets guests
Jean Bochnowski (JJAC Director) opens awards ceremony
Jennifer Speers (Penny Wilson's niece) and Jean Bochnowski (JJAC Director) prepare to present award
Jennifer Speers presenting Lifetime Legacy Award to Penny Wilson
Penny Wilson, Jennifer Speers and Brittany Thompson admire Penny's award, a Grainger McCoy "Recovery Stroke" pin
Ann Chahbandour and APA Board Chair Stewart Cades
Blydenburgh family
Ann Chahbandour and Penny Wilson with owl print purchased by APA for permanent collection in new museum
NAS staff and Craig Morton of Aegis
Scooter - Eastern Screech Owl Red Phase - Bird Ambassador for JJAC
Matt McQuide of Kimmel Bogrette

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