Friends of the Wissahickon Receives $10,000 from BrandONE


February 1, 2023 – Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) recently received $10,000 from BrandONE, a leading national franchise development consultancy, as the recipient of its annual donation to a designated charitable organization. The company bestows the gift as part of its mission to give back to the communities that BrandONE’s franchise brands serve and to help deserving nonprofits achieve their own goals.


The honor of selecting the recipient goes to BrandONE’s Lead Developer of the Year. In 2022, it was Sarah Van Aken, vice president of franchise development, who did not hesitate to choose Friends of the Wissahickon, stewards of the Wissahickon Valley Park.


“The Wissahickon has always had a special place in my heart,” said Van Aken, who lives within walking distance of the park, where she walks her dog every day. “I feel it’s important to give back to something that gives me so much,” Van Aken said. So much so, that she personally contributed $2,500 to stewarding the Wissahickon.


Like many people, Van Aken relied on the park’s open spaces and beauty as an escape during the pandemic’s lock-down phase. She hopes that BrandONE’s donation will help offset the impact that the influx of visitors since then has had on the park, in terms of trash and wear-and-tear on the trails, noting FOW’s quick attention to clear downed trees, debris, and other potential hazards that arise.


“We are grateful that Sarah and BrandONE selected us as the 2022 recipient of this generous donation,” said Ruffian Tittmann, executive director at FOW. “This support will help advance our work to improve the forest habitat, park user experience, and stormwater management, now and for generations to come.”


Caption: Ruffian Tittmann, executive director at Friends of the Wissahickon (left) receives a $10,000 donation for stewardship of Wissahickon Valley Park from Sarah Van Aken, vice president of franchise development at BrandONE. The company selected FOW as the recipient of its annual donation to a charitable organization.