The Annual Dinner is a Success!

The Annual Dinner is a Success!

On Saturday, March 3, members and friends of Black Hills Audubon streamed into the big room in the Student Union building on the SPSCC campus, ready to enjoy the celebrated speaker John Marzluff, applaud our award winners, and gather with birder friends and revel in the camaraderie of our shared passions and concerns. We heard a stirring report from our regions’ national Audubon representative Art Wang and welcomed our local “mother of Audubon” Helen Engle. And not least, the event was an opportunity to give big to support our Chapter and its educational and outreach programs!

The funds raised at the Annual Dinner will boost our ability to reach out to new or want-to-be birders with backpacks imaginatively stocked with everything needed for successful birding expeditions, and to support Chapter work in conservation, education, and environmental advocacy. Members generously bought raffle tickets and sale items, and gave targeted donations: we raised $875 for the backpack project, $1140 to support critical environmental advocacy work, $810 for educational programs, and $2005 for general support of Chapter work. Our wonderful success buoyed spirits and kindled even more dedication to our mission “for the birds.” The final sums raised will be reported at a later date.

The gracious acceptance speeches from our Award winners only made us prouder of their efforts in our community for the work they do. Davy Clark was honored for his work in Environmental Education at the Billy Frank Jr. National Wildlife Refuge and Daniel Einstein was recognized for his conservation efforts through OlyEcosystems to protect shorelands for Great Blue Herons and other threatened species. John Marzluff then heartened us with highlights from his years of research examining how birds respond to increasing human presence and the resulting changing environment as we move deeper into habitat areas. Many birds are able to adapt and coexist if we only give them a little help and understanding. His work reinforced our campaign to create bird-friendly gardens and other spaces with appropriate plantings, sources of water and shelter and well-stocked birdfeeders.

Profound thanks to all those who worked so hard to make our evening’s success possible. Sally Nole organized the affair with dedicated help from her committee: Kim Adelson, Margery Beeler, Rick Yale, Paul Moody, Craig Merkel, Deb Nickerson and Kathleen Snyder. Many more volunteers put it all together providing hours of set up, selling and serving during the dinner and cleaning up after it was over. We could not have carried it through without you all. A huge Thank You also, to all the donors of items for our sale and raffle and bar. A special thanks for the donation of the duck decoys and to all who transformed them into coveted works of art. The generosity members showed in offering Nature-related items for sale, or trips or experiences, is invaluable. Your support allows us to do more for birds in our area.

A few people mentioned to board members they would like to get more involved in our chapter’s work. Deb Nickerson is hosting a meeting of any members who wish to learn all the ways in which one can become more a part of our work. All interested in becoming more active, contact her at debranic@nullgmail.com and plan to meet at her house on Wednesday, March 28th at 4pm. She will email you the directions.