A sold-out crowd of 65 attended our first ever-fundraising event on January 21st in Arivaca. At the newly remodeled Dance Hall, a Friends banner and balloons welcomed attendees, and indoors the hall was festively decorated with draped tables and centerpieces. Background music added to the ambience, coupled with a continuous display of beautiful images of wildlife and Buenos Aires NWR landscapes on the big screen on stage.
Guests mingled and chatted and perused the more than 30 silent auction items, which included guided birding, a golf resort stay, a dude ranch vacation, an array of fine art depicting Arizona birds and landscapes, an artistic front door plaque featuring masked bobwhite quail, and a beautifully detailed wood carving of a masked bobwhite. Several new members joined the Friends. The winner of the 50/50 raffle generously donated the winnings back to the Friends’ treasury to benefit the refuge. Keynote speaker Pinau Merlin presented “Reading Nature’s Clues,” with intriguing images that unveiled the subtle signs of wildlife in our natural surroundings.
As a first fundraiser, there was lots to learn and lots of expenses. Profits from the event will further the refuge’s mission by financing on-the-ground conservation endeavors. The Friends of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge provides assistance monetarily and through volunteer work at the Visitor Center and in field projects. In this era of staff and funding shortages, our organization is increasingly needed to fulfill objectives of the refuge. You can help too! Continue your membership, and join in work projects. We hope to see you at another