Three hundred thirty special guests arrived at the EEC on a balmy day in late September. Not to catch frogs in the ponds, or to sing All the Rivers Run, but to make those opportunities available for underserved kids. These special guests were here to support the efforts of the EEC and to donate money to our scholarship fund at our Annual CVEEC Clam Bake!
The evening began with a cocktail hour around the November Lodge. Guests enjoyed a buffet of gourmet macaroni and cheese dishes, fresh vegetable salads, clam chowder, and shrimp hors d’oeuvres. Conservancy staff mingled with donors to explain our programming and share fun stories about the kids we teach, while Hey Mavis played wonderful bluegrass music. We had a display table highlighting classes we teach for our resident and farm programs as well as a slideshow depicting life at the EEC.
Following happy hour, guests headed to the main tent for a lobster and clam dinner. Tables were garnished with fall-themed pumpkin and cactus centerpieces, burlap table cloths, and beautiful burgundy colored napkins. And, what better way to finish off the exquisite meal than with pumpkin crème brulee.
After a welcome and thank you from Conservancy’s CEO, Deb Yandala, and National Park Superintendent, Stan Austin, we watched this promotional video about the center. Check out the video here!
Immediately following the video, Bob Hale shared his talented verbal skills for our live auction! Auction packages included private CVSR excursions, catered dinners in the valley, a barrel of local wines, and even a trip to Colorado. One of our interns, Ben Bellamy, helped Bob announce the auction items; he did a fabulous job. Whether it was the wonderful fall weather, or purely the generous hearts of our donors, we managed to raise approximately $35,000 from our live auction! The charitable contributions we received were truly remarkable.
To end the evening, we did our traditional “scholarship auction” where we say, “send a kid to camp!” We gave bidders the option to donate money in set increments directly for our scholarship fund. Starting at the $5,000 level (sending 20 kids to camp) and working down to the $100 dollar level, the scholarship action ended up producing another $35,000. Again, these results are truly remarkable.
By the end of the night, the Clam Bake event raised a total of $77,000 for the EEC and our scholarship fund. We are genuinely grateful to all of our donors. Lives will be changed with this scholarship money. We cannot say thank you enough.
Want to learn more about the Clam Bake, or have any questions? Leave us a comment on the blog.