On The Avenue

Go Wild! Yellowstone Hosts Young Patrons Benefit Thursday Night

by Kelly Laffey Photographed by Wildlife Bison Yellowstone Geysers
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
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All photos by Tom Murphy

New York is a jungle. But sometimes, urban dwellers need to trade in the concrete for more natural landscapes.

On Thursday, November 3, the Yellowstone Parks Foundation Young Patrons Board will host its second-annual benefit at Avenue New York, helping to raise funds and awareness for America’s first national park.

“Yellowstone is iconic, and such a special place. It’s really inspiring,” says Jackie Rooney, a corporate communications manager at Facebook who spearheaded the initiative to create a Young Patrons Board. “It’s is the first national park. You feel something special when you’re there—It’s the landscapes. It’s the geysers. It’s what the Wild West used to be.”

The Yellowstone Park Foundation Young Patrons Board is tapping into a growing need in places like New York and San Francisco, where benefit parties have also been hosted, to cater to younger generations who want to give back in a way that is both accessible and actionable. “The organization’s mission is to fund-raise for Yellowstone,” says Heather White, the CEO of the Yellowstone Park Foundation and the Yellowstone Association. Currently, funds are helping to support a state-of-the-art LEED certified education center. “And our secondary goal is education. The great thing about the young professionals group is that is helps to make an important connection between generations. It’s an opportunity for leadership within the park.”

The Young Patrons Board is comprised of enthusiastic nature-lovers across the United States, all of whom work in conjunction with the Yellowstone Parks Foundation to preserve the park for future generations. Rooney and White are hoping that the Young Patrons Board will help to build future relationships with the park—both with people who have already visited, and those who have yet to take advantage of the stunning views.

Yellowstone National Park spreads across nearly 3,500-square miles of wilderness. Mostly contained within Wyoming, it also enters parts of Montana and Idaho and contains such iconic landscapes as Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the United States.

The group is building off of the momentum of the National Parks Service centennial this year. It’s the first Young Patrons Board within the park system, and the goal is to make this a model that supporters of other national parks can tap into.

Rooney, along with new Board members Arielle Patrick, a Group Manager at Weber Shandwick, and Alice Ryan, a Director at KBS (kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners), will host Thursday’s Young Patrons gala benefit at Avenue, 116 10th Avenue. The event starts at 8 p.m., with an after-party at Happy Endings.

Interested donors can purchase tickets here.


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by Kelly LaffeyPhotographed by Billy Farrall