'Wander the Wild' banquet, auction to benefit outdoor education for children
The Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, will conduct its second annual "Wander the Wild" banquet and auction from 3-7 p.m. Sept. 26 at Talking Rock Ranch in Williamson Valley.
Proceeds from the event will support science-based field trips and other programs for youngsters at the center. Each year, the complex serves thousands of school children with hands-on science education programs that introduce students to the Central Arizona Highlands.
Wander the Wild will ensure that Yavapai County children continue to have these educational experiences since the fees that the center charges to schools and parents cover only a small fraction of the cost to run the programs.
All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to provide scholarship assistance to the schools and students that need it most.
"Our goal is to create a fun and truly unique event that raises not only money to support our programs, but also complements our mission of getting children and adults outdoors," Highlands Center Executive Director Dave Irvine said.
Jacy Lee, an auctioneer with Batterman's Auction house in Prescott, will conduct the auction.
Donations for the auction include outdoor getaways, such as a weeklong stay in a time-share condo, a week spent in a vacation home in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and a two-night stay on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Maswik Lodge with a sightseeing tour package.
Other outdoor adventure packages include private hikes led by an area naturalist; an overnight stay for two at the Little Thumb Butte Inn; a personal plane ride touring Sedona, the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater; two nights at Muleshoe Ranch, a Nature Conservancy preserve in southern Arizona; and a golf package at Talking Rock, which includes golf for eight, lunch and a reception.
A package from Hassayampa Canine Resort and Spa is also available for dog owners.
Talking Rock Ranch, which will cater Wander the Wild, has created a menu that features locally grown ingredients. The event will take place outside in a large tent on the grounds and showcase fine wines from Painted Lady Vineyards in Skull Valley and Arizona Stronghold in Cottonwood.
Standard tickets into Wander the Wild cost $75 apiece, while premier Petroglyph tickets are available at $100 each by calling the center at 776-9550.
For directions to Talking Rock Ranch, 14503 N. Talking Rock Ranch Road, call the community's information center at 776-4440 or call the Highlands Center.