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Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Dinner early bird prizes

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Shannon Hrudka, of J. M. R. Electric Ltd., and Craig Horlor, of Dark Horse Estate Winery Inc. were drawn for Early Bird Prizes worth $125 each in gas, thanks to Dave Moore Fuels Ltd.

Conservation Dinner presents two Early Bird prizes in 2017

Co-Chairs draw names of Shannon Hrudka, Craig Horlor as two prize winners from early ticket buyers; Each prize worth $125 in gas courtesy of Dave Moore Fuels Ltd. 

Conservation Dinner Committee Co-Chair Janet Clarke presents Shannon Hrudka, of J. M. R. Electric Ltd., with his winning Early Bird Draw prize of $125 worth of gas courtesy of Dave Moore Fuels Ltd. of Exeter. The Dinner Committee draws a winner each year from tickets purchased early for the gala charitable auction fundraising event. This year, thanks to donor Dave Moore Fuels, there were Early Bird Draw prizes awarded to two winners. 

Thanks to local businesses and donors, guests and patrons, artists and volunteers, this charity event has raised more than $1 million in net proceeds for the community. The 28th Conservation Dinner is a project of the Exeter Lions Club, the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, and other community volunteers and supporters.

Craig Horlor (at left in photo), of Dark Horse Estate Winery Inc., receives his Early Bird Draw winning prize of $125 worth of gas, courtesy of Dave Moore Fuels Ltd. of Exeter, from Conservation Dinner Publicity Committee member Tim Cumming (at right in photo). There were two winners of Early Bird Draw prizes this year, thanks to  Dave Moore Fuels. This is a special edition, during the Canada 150 anniversary year, of the Conservation Dinner, a gala local community fundraising event that takes place on April 6, 2017 at South Huron Recreation Centre, 94 Victoria Street East, in Exeter. Ticket buyers receive a charitable gift receipt, for income tax purposes, for a portion of the ticket purchase price of $75. Organizers announced that they expect the 2017 Dinner, the 28th, to be sold out of tickets but there is a waiting list, in case tickets become available, by phoning 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

Conservation Dinner Co-Chairs Mary Ryan-Allen and Janet Clarke drew the names of the two Early Bird Draw prize winners. They picked two winning tickets at the Dinner Committee meeting and the winners are Shannon Hrudka, of J. M. R. Electric Ltd., and Craig Horlor, of Dark Horse Estate Winery Inc. Each prize is for $125 worth of gas thanks to a generous donation from Dave Moore Fuels Ltd. of Exeter. People who buy their tickets early are eligible to have their tickets in the draw. This is the first year two prize draws have been offered as part of the gala charitable auction event. The two $125 gas prizes are for the cardlock at Dave Moore Fuels and are to be used by August 31, 2017.  “We would like to thank Dave Moore Fuels Ltd. for providing this year’s Early Bird Prizes,” said Ryan-Allen. 

This fundraising charitable auction and dinner takes place on April 6, 2017 at South Huron Recreation Centre at 94 Victoria Street East, Exeter. Organizers say it looks like this year’s event is another sold-out gala. People may get on a waiting list, in case tickets become available, by phoning 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610. Tickets are $75 each. Patrons receive a charitable gift receipt, for income tax purposes, for a portion of that amount.

The year 2017 is the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. The Conservation Dinner’s Canada 150 edition promises to be special with prized live auction items such as a VIA Rail Canada Round Trip, London to Halifax, for two passengers, in Sleeper Plus Class, courtesy of VIA Rail Canada. Other live auction items include a one-week Wolfe Island farmhouse getaway for up to 10 people; autographed jerseys from past and current National Hockey League greats such as Gordie Howe and Alexander Ovechkin; a framed album autographed by members of classic rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive; a Kingfisher wood sculpture by the late Ted Jones, courtesy Donna Jones; and a Robin wood sculpture by the acclaimed Fred Negrijn. Another coveted auction item is the chance to sit behind home plate on July 17, 2017, as the Toronto Blue Jays visit the Boston Red Sox, in a dugout box and tour of Fenway Stadium arranged with the donors, Dr. Ellen Salurand and Dr. Richard Wilcon. Packages offered by Chef James Eddington are always a big item at the live auction. This year the local chef offers an All-Inclusive Best of Our Region Dinner for Four at his restaurant with complex beverage pairing on a mutually agreeable night excluding special occasions. Groceries for a Year at Hansen’s Your Independent Grocer was a big hit at last year’s auction and, thanks to donors Mike and Michelle Hansen, this package ($75 per week in groceries excluding pharmacy, tobacco, and lottery) is back in 2017 and is sure to be a popular bid item.

Many other enticing auction items are included in the programme to be posted online at abca.on.ca. Live auction items include a Tahitian pearl necklace; oil paintings, prints, and other fine art; a live-edge Maple bench handcrafted by Peter Darbishire with metal base crafted by last year’s feature artist Murals in Metal; a Night at Pretty River Valley Inn and Scandinave Spa for Four; a quilt by Kalidoscope of Quilts, Exeter; a Wood Spirit Black Walnut walking stick in memory of the late Ted Jones and handcrafted by Exeter Lions Club member Doug Upshall; four VIP table seats for two-day passes at Trackside Music Festival; and much, much more. One of the highlights of the live auction, of course, will be the feature art package. Internationally recognized Iceculture Inc., of Hensall, has been chosen as feature artist for 2017. Auction organizers say there will be a unique and spectacular ice sculpture unveiled at the Dinner. There is also an ice-themed feature package from Iceculture and CHILL Ice House, Toronto (the first permanent ice lounge in Canada). That package includes a guided tour and hands-on ice carving experience for up to 25 people at Iceculture; a special-event six-foot ice bar (or item of equivalent value); and entrance for up to 15 people to CHILL Ice House lounge (reservations required). This package is in the live auction and promises to be one of the desired gala experiences patrons will bid upon. 

The above list doesn’t cover all the live auction items let alone all the donations in the silent auction, Super Silent Auction, general raffles, and special raffles. There are plenty of ways to win by bidding and purchasing raffle tickets.

Exeter Lions Club and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation have worked together on this fundraiser for more than 27 years. Net proceeds are split evenly between local projects of the Lions Club and the Foundation. This charity event has raised more than $1 million in net proceeds for projects throughout local communities, thanks to donors and businesses; patrons and guests; volunteers and artists. The Conservation Dinner has provided financial support for work on parks such as MacNaughton Park; accessible trails including MacNaughton-Morrison Section of the South Huron Trail and Rock Glen Conservation Area in Arkona; stocking fish in Morrison Reservoir for the annual family-friendly fishing derby; a bursary for youth; work experience and employment for youth; busing and nature education and recreation for youths at schools and conservation areas; fishing dock replacement; accessible playgrounds and conservation area upgrades such as trail stairways and boardwalks; tree planting enhancing habitat; a new Woodland Reflection Shelter pavilion to pause along the trail and commune with nature and remember loved ones; and much more. Visit conservationdinner.com or abca.on.ca to find out more.