Big Birthday Bash fundraiser benefits Pathways to Success

REHOBOTH BEACH – A simple social media question on Facebook asked by chef Gretchen Hanson led to a very successful birthday fundraiser supporting a program that supports at-risk students.

From left to right: Gretchen Hanson, Big Birthday Bash committee member; Brandon Morrow, Grotto Pizza; Vinnie DiNatale, Grotto Pizza; Eileen Hagerty, Big Birthday Bash committee member; Pathways to Success Executive Director Fay Blake; and Sarah Gilmour, Pathways to Success Outreach Coordinator/Big Birthday Bash committee member.

The question: What should I do for my birthday? It sparked ideas and eventually the overwhelming choice was a not-for-profit fundraiser.

A four-way race between Pathways to Success, Fund for Women Delaware, Delmarva Public Radio and Conservation International led to a high-spirited voting weekend.

Pathways to Success was the overwhelming winner.

With only a short time to plan, Grotto Pizza donated the second floor of their Rehoboth Avenue location and offered 20 percent of the proceeds. The event committee of Eileen Hagerty, Kristen Homan and Sarah Gilmour raised an additional $1,300 from sponsors, pushing the total over $1,500 for the event total.

On Feb. 1, Ms. Hanson’s Big Birthday Bash was attended by community members all wearing the theme of “sparkles.”

Pathways to Success Executive Director Fay Blake commented on the success of the fundraiser.

“It is people like Gretchen Hanson and companies like Grotto Pizza that makes our community so special,” said Ms. Blake. “This fundraiser not only raised money for our organization but helped build awareness about what we do to help at-risk youth attending Cape Henlopen High School, Seaford High School and Sussex Technical High School.  We are so appreciative and will be using the money raised for our at-risk teens.”

All proceeds benefited Pathways to Success.  For more information about Pathways to Success visit: or contact Pathways to Success Outreach Coordinator Sarah Gilmour at 302-381-1494 or, or Gretchen Hanson at

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