PRESS RELEASE: Introducing the Apple Butter “Mask Ask”

Due to festival cancellation, revenue loss, fundraising campaign seeks donations, offers donors limited-edition apple butter masks

LANSING, MI – Fenner Nature Center is launching today the 2020 Apple Butter “Mask Ask,” a fundraising campaign to offset the revenue lost due to cancelling their 47-year-running festival and to celebrate the event’s history through its associated artwork. The campaign will run through November.

“The Apple Butter Festival has been a part of this community for 47 years, and it was a heartbreaking realization that 2020 would be the year that, for the first time ever, the event simply couldn’t happen,” said Executive Director Liz Roxberry. 

The festival began as a fundraiser in 1973, when volunteers gathered to peel, slice, and stir apples into apple butter. The apple butter was sold, raising money to support the organization’s programming and operations. Over the years, the fundraiser grew into a widely-anticipated arts and culture event, and its identity evolved from hand-drawn illustrations to designs by local artists and collected by Fenner fans.

Though the event and its imagery look dramatically different from their humble beginnings in 1973, Fenner Nature Center and the nonprofit organization behind it still rely heavily on the revenue generated to continue operations each year.  

“Very simply put, we need help,” Roxberry said. “Even though we have taken drastic measures to sustain the organization through COVID-19, we continue to face unprecedented losses. We need Lansing to mask up and help keep Fenner’s traditions, and the community at the heart of them, alive.”

Donors contributing $50 through this campaign will receive a limited-edition mask featuring the 2020 Apple Butter artwork, as well as an individual membership to the organization, a $30 value. Anyone who contributes through this campaign will have the opportunity to add additional masks to their order for $15 each.

“Our community has seen us through lean times before, and we have every confidence they will again,” Roxberry said. “Every mask purchased will help ensure the traditions that these designs celebrate will continue for the next 47 years, and we look forward to their return in 2021.”

For more information about this campaign or to donate today, please visit

About Fenner Conservancy: Fenner Conservancy, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and managing body for Fenner Nature Center, connects people to nature in the heart of Lansing through conservation, education, and stewardship. Through the efforts of this organization, Fenner Nature Center continues to meet that commitment in difficult times, but Fenner Conservancy needs your help to sustain this crucial part of our community. To explore the many ways you can help support this vital organization, please call 517-483-4224 or visit

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