Ch­e­sa­peake Bay En­vi­ron­men­tal Cen­ter hosts 13th an­nual Wet, Wild Auc­tion

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­

GRA­SONVILLE — Tucked away down Discovery Lane in Gra­sonville on Satur­day night, Sept. 16, were more than 200 peo­ple drink­ing, eat­ing, min­gling and open­ing their wal­lets to support the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay En­vi­ron­men­tal Cen­ter.

For the 13th time, county res­i­dents came out to bid, both silently and dur­ing a live auc­tion, on do­nated items spread through­out the en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cacy group’s ed­u­ca­tion build­ing. From tick­ets to see the Wash­ing­ton Wizards to a fold up bi­cy­cle, from glass­ware to per­sian rugs, and from carved wooden ducks to framed paint­ings of ducks, more than 80 items were avail­able to the high­est bid­der.

The first 90 min­utes of the $100-a-ticket event was ded­i­cated to so­cial­iz­ing and me­an­der­ing the room to spot items of in­ter­est. The Caribbean-themed fundraiser, which had many at­ten­dees dressed in brightly col­ored shirts with palm trees and the like, was catered by Bridges Res­tau­rant with a menu that in­cluded filet mignon, fried maduros, grilled mahi mahi and jerk chicken, as well as mixed greens and steamed rice.

All the while, Or­lando Phillips, a reg­u­lar per­former at the an­nual event, played his Caribbean drum and elec­tri­fied the air with his unique is­land sounds.

At 7:30 p.m., peo­ple made their way to the tent for the live auc­tion. CBEC Vice Pres­i­dent Merry Tobin thanked all in at­ten­dance for sup­port­ing the non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion. Tobin also thanked the auc­tion com­mit­tee mem­bers, who re­ceived a round of ap­plause, for their work in mak­ing an­other suc­cess­ful event.

Judy Wink, CBEC ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, told the group about two ini­tia­tives CBEC took on in the past year. The first was a part­ner­ship with Har­ris Crab House and Seafood Res­tau­rant to cre­ate an oys­ter lease project, “which I think is a great help,” she said. The sec­ond ini­tia­tive was the geo-dome project, where fish and veg­eta­bles will be grown to ben­e­fit the Mar yland Food Bank.

The live auc­tion, con­ducted by Jeff Heisey with At­lantic Auc­tions, had 13 items for bid dur­ing dessert in the out­door tent. Items for auc­tion in­cluded a half-day fish­ing ex­cur­sion, a di­a­mond bracelet, a he­li­copter tour of Bal­ti­more with din­ner for four in­cluded, as well as a wicker pa­tio set and elec­tric 2009 Pron Znen scooter. All the items were do­nated by var­i­ous in­di­vid­u­als.

The to­tal amount raised through the live auc­tion was $15,250. At the end of the evening, Vicki Paulas, a Wet and Wild auc­tion com­mit­tee mem­ber and CBEC em­ployee, an­nounced that an anony­mous at­tendee was will­ing to make a $20,000 do­na­tion if an­other $20,000 match­ing do­na­tion would be made.

Heisey, start­ing at $1,000 and mak­ing his way through $500 and $250 do­na­tions, asked au­di­ence mem­bers to raise their hands and an­nounce their bid­ding num­ber if they were will­ing to chip in. With more than 20 donors, the $20,000 match was made to com­plete a $40,000 do­na­tion to the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The evening closed with the an­nual Heads/Tails game where peo­ple put their hands on ei­ther their head or “tail” an­tic­i­pat­ing what side of the coin Heisey’s flip would land on. If par­tic­i­pants guessed cor­rectly the side of the coin, they stayed in the game un­til no one was left. The win­ner re­ceived the 50/50 raf­fle prize.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay En­vi­ron­men­tal Cen­ter is a 510-acre wildlife pre­serve es­tab­lished in 1979. Its mis­sion is to pro­mote stew­ard­ship and sus­tain­abil­ity through en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion and habi­tat restora­tion. It of­fers a unique hands-on, feet-wet ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams for stu­dents from pre-school age into adult­hood.

For more in­for­ma­tion about CBEC, visit www. bayrestora­

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.


Ch­e­sa­peake Bay En­vi­ron­men­tal Cen­ter Board of Trustees mem­bers gather for a photo at the ed­u­ca­tion build­ing dur­ing the an­nual Wet and Wild Auc­tion on Satur­day, Sept. 16.

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