Sunday, June 23, 2024

CitySprouts founder Jane Hirschi, left, at a previous year’s Dig It fundraiser. (Photo: CitySprouts)

The annual Dig It fundraiser for CitySprouts on Thursday brought the nonprofit $20,000 for its urban-gardening mission and some drama, as founder Jane Hirschi fainted during the event and was taken to the hospital.

Hirschi is fine – was well taken care of and is resting at home, CitySprouts development director Jessica Parsons said Friday.

An email to participants at the MIT Museum event, which celebrated 22 years of CitySprouts and honored Hirschi as she handed off its leadership, went out Friday with words of assurance.

“I am so appreciative of everyone who gathered at Dig It to celebrate CitySprouts and me. It was a joyous gathering, and I am forever grateful to you all for the send-off! I only wish that I had been able to spend the whole evening with you,” Hirschi said. “I am happy to report that I returned home last night and all tests indicate my good health. I felt your love for me and CitySprouts, even though I wasn’t physically with you.”

Attendees watch a CitySprouts slideshow at Thursday’s fundraiser at Cambridge’s MIT Museum. (Photo: Jesse Nahan)

The 6 to 8:30 p.m. event included the chance to look through the new museum, a $500 raffle, merchandise sale, ukulele accompaniment for “the Garden Song” and the fundraising itself, led by board member Uche Amaechi. Hirschi fainted about 25 minutes into the event, attendee Monica Velgos said. The event went on with assurances there would be updates about Hirschi’s health.

A presentation by retired Haggerty School principal Joe Petner describing the history of CitySprouts – up through the March publication of the organization’s picture book, “We Garden Together!: Projects for Kids: Learn, Grow, and Connect with Nature” – led to the pledging period. More than $10,000 was raised in around five minutes, with about eight $1,000 pledges. That met the match goal, which Parsons said meant doubling the promised dollars.

In her Friday email, Hirschi thanked attendees for “supporting CitySprouts all of these years and now through its transition to new leadership.”

“It is a joy to be part of the CitySprouts’ community with you,” Hirschi said.