Originally Published: December 5, 2018 6:29 p.m.
The Highlands Center for Natural History celebrated its 10th annual Wander the Wild fundraiser on Sept. 23 at the Windmill House in Chino Valley. This annual event raises money to support youth education programs at the Center, specifically funding scholarships for area schools to attend field trips at the Lynx Creek site.
A sellout crowd of 200 guests enjoyed an outdoor reception, lively auction and delicious meal prepared by the Windmill House staff, according to a news release from the Highlands Center. The live auction featured outdoor-related travel and adventure packages, educational field trips and nature inspired works of art by local artists. With local, regional, national and international destinations, the auction offered something for everyone: including a week in a Tuscan Villa or at a South African photo safari, strolling Central American Pacific beaches, or sailing the Caribbean.
The highlight of the auction occurred as guests voluntarily agreed to adopt or subsidize a classroom of students to visit the Center for a day of outdoor education and nature-based activities. Over 60 classrooms were directly adopted by generous donors. The event cleared over $100,000 to support the youth education programs of the Center.
“Because of this event, the Highlands Center will not turn away any school or individual child from our educational programs due to lack of financial resources,” according to the event’s chairperson, Lesley Alward.
Lamb Chevrolet was the presenting sponsor and Ron and Laura James served as honorary chairpersons. Other Sustaining Corporate sponsors included Taylor & Padgett Wealth & Legacy Strategies; Molly Day Auman - Broker Associate of Garden Brook Realty; Foothills Bank; The Riggs Team of Guild Mortgage; and Olsen’s for Healthy Animals.