Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fun Raiser or Fund Raiser?

Any way you look at it our Family Picnic on Sunday, May the 2nd, was just wonderful! This was our fifth year holding the picnic. It began when I asked our Board of Directors to come up with something really worthwhile and different that would not only help us raise money, but would also bring the ranch to the attention of more people. Thanks to the creative thinking of Board member Anne Donovan the idea developed. The concept was to bring grandparents and young parents with children to the ranch for a day that encompassed education, recreation and family. I think when you view these pictures you’ll agree that this mission was truly accomplished.


The day began at 10 a.m. with four trailers taking tours every half hour to see some of the best dinosaur tracks ever discovered, to search for 100 million year old fossils and to see the world’s only chiroptorium and a large herd of scimitar horned oryx, a vanishing antelope species native to Africa.



Scott Gardner with trailer.



Dinosaur tracks. Photograph by Chris W. Johnson.



Picture of Chiroptorium. Photograph by Chris W. Johnson.



Scimitar horned oryx.



Down along the Nature Trail, Mary Kay Sexton was having the kids search and seine for creek critters. Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



Meanwhile, back at the Center, some of the kids looked at snakes and lizards, and a nanny goat with her kid while some were inside doing face painting, building kites and other arts and crafts.



Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



Photograph taken by Lois Sturm.



Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



This was a new addition this year, a zip line. Talk about fun. Some kids rode it five times! The zip line was down was installed near Madrone Lake. Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



Also at Madrone Lake the kids were taught how to fish.
Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



Ernie Sessums has enjoyed teaching this sport all five years and even though it’s not a trophy, Conner Hathaway is proud of his catch. Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



The dam for Madrone Lake was perfect for kite flying. The lake was beautiful and wildflowers enhanced the scene. Photograph taken by Kathleen Marie Wilson.



Photograph by J. David.



The Grass Trail attracted Ernest, Paula and Brian Smith.
Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



It’s lunch time! Clean country air and so much to do added to the appetite of everyone. Chicken and beef fajitas, beans, grilled vegetables, salad – even hot dogs – iced tea, lemonade and a cookie was on the menu. Unbelievably good food prepared by volunteers from the Bexar Grotto, a caving group from San Antonio. They also are the stewards of Bracken Bat Cave.



Photograph taken by Lois Sturm.



Photograph taken by Lois Sturm.



Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



What would a Fund Raiser be without a silent auction? Nell Martin, a volunteer, has organized this since the beginning and with a great deal of success. We try to have only items that are nature, conservation and environment oriented. Photograph taken by Lois Sturm.



Plant sales are always a big hit with the picnicers – Medina Native Nursery donated over $600.00 worth of plants and trees. This year ranch biologist, Steven Fulton, offered many tree species raised right here on Selah - Bur Oaks, Lacey Oaks, Buckeye, Rough Leaf Dogwood, Carolina Buckthorn, Sycamore Leaf Snowbell to name a few. Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



From all the enthusiastic comments received, I’ve got to say that the demonstration and education presented by John Karger, founder of “Last Chance Forever,” was the biggest hit of all. This organization rehabilitates raptors and releases them back into the wild. John’s demonstration and commentary held the attention of both young and old.



Photograph taken by Kathleen Marie Wilson



Photograph taken by Lois Sturm.



Chance Ruder, a protégé of John Karger, shows the gathering a great horned owl. Photograph taken by Lois Sturm.



When the day is done – a small tired, but happy group of volunteers gets to relax. No one does it alone - THANKS to ALL of YOU !!!!!! Photograph taken by Lois Sturm.



What’s it all about? This picture speaks to me: Children today, adults tomorrow. I so admire the young parents who brought these beautiful young kids to our picnic. With experience like this, there will be no nature deficit disorder among these kids. I wish every child could visit Selah. Photograph taken by Karen Archer.



There are so many, many good causes that need financial help. Preserving the earth itself is important. So, if you would like to help us with a donation, we are a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation and gifts are deductible to the extent of the law. You can send your contributions to: Bamberger Ranch Preserve, 2341 Blue Ridge Drive, Johnson City, TX 78636.

1 comment:

Sallie said...

Looks like I missed the Best Picnic ever. So sorry I had to miss it. I'll be back next year.