2019 Annual Dinner Summary
by Anne Kilgannon – The big room in the Community College Student’s Union building once again welcomed Black Hills Audubon members and guests to an evening of camaraderie, reflection and inspiration. The tables were aglow with new etched glass lighted vases, the drinks bar added a convivial gathering place, and, as always, there were raffle displays to tantalize hope. New this year, outdoor events and adventures were featured instead of silent auction items. The Annual Dinner Committee honored tradition while experimenting with ways to keep the evening’s offerings fresh and interesting.
Our speakers, Diane Yorgason-Quinn and Rachel Hudson, delighted the group with intrepid tales of observing and aiding the conservation of Swifts as they pass through our area on migration north and south. Their dedication was infectious; liberal invitations to get involved in the effort to document and save roosting chimneys were extended to all present.
Awarded this year for their work were Maria Ruth – Conservationist of the Year, Scott Mills – Environmental Educator of the Year and Margery Beeler – Volunteer of the Year. They have done so much for our chapter, expanding our knowledge of bird life, advocating for birds and ensuring the work of this chapter is done to a high standard always. We are very grateful to them for their dedication and extend our congratulations to each of them.
The dinner brought in $8400 to the chapter, $3000 of that earmarked for three particular areas of focus: a conservation fund for the costs of local advocacy work; the library partnership backpack project and emerging opportunities with our education committee such as camps and programs for youth around our region.
The crowd was smaller but enthusiastic; it is always a time to renew relationships with fellow birders, share stories and laughter while showing support for conservation efforts which support healthy environments for birds.