Audubon event in Fairfield supports education programs

From left, Carleen Kunkel, Mary Hogue, Guy Gleysteen and Milan Bull at the Audubon event.

From left, Carleen Kunkel, Mary Hogue, Guy Gleysteen and Milan Bull at the Audubon event.

Contributed photo

FAIRFIELD — Guests at The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Center at Fairfield donned their best fleece and flannel to attend the annual Adirondack Night-Howl at the Moon! fundraiser on Saturday, March 7. This year’s event raised more than $46,000 to support education programs at the Center.

Against the outdoor backdrop of a nearly full super moon and glowing fire pit, the Center was transformed indoors into a rustic mountain lodge. Guests danced to lively music by Barnstorm!, and enjoyed appetizing food by Garelick & Herbs and drink selections from Fifth State Distillery and Two Roads Brewing Co. Cedar, a screech owl and Resident Ambassador Bird at the Center, also made a special appearance to welcome attendees.

Contributing to the evening’s success were live and silent auctions, as well as an online auction hosted by Black Rock Galleries of Bridgeport. The online auction remained open after the event, allowing opportunities for more people to support the Center and bid on the uniquely curated items.

An important highlight of the evening was the launch of the Adirondack Night Annual Giving Appeal. In his remarks that evening, Chairman of the Fairfield Regional Board Charles Fleischman welcomed guests, and Shari Greenblatt, Southwest Regional Director, acknowledged the vision and commitment of committee member Bonnie Hirschfeld, and the generosity of donors, in making this inaugural year of the appeal a great success. Funds raised from this event will be used to enable more underserved students to participate in Connecticut Audubon’s Science in Nature education programs at the Center.

Greenblatt, who also oversees the Center at Fairfield, reaffirmed how important this effort is. “Education is the heart and soul of what we do at the Center. There are many children in our area who have never been able to set foot in a nature center. This support will make it possible for more of them to have the life-changing experience of leaving their classrooms to participate in field-based STEM programs that help them build life-long connections to the natural world.”

In addition to everyone who attended, Greenblatt also expressed thanks to all who contributed substantial donations of time and resources including Adirondack Night 2020 Benefit Chair Matthew Lahey and his dedicated Committee members: April Clyne, Bonnie Hirschfeld, Carleen and Peter Kunkel, Katie Montgomery and Eileen Riccardi. Appreciation also goes to event sponsor Andy Montelli, of Post Road Residential.

The Connecticut Audubon Society conserves Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and habitats. Founded in 1898, Connecticut Audubon operates nature facilities in Fairfield, Milford, Glastonbury, Pomfret, Hampton, and Sherman, a center in Old Lyme, and an EcoTravel office in Essex. The Connecticut Audubon Society also manages 20 wildlife sanctuaries around the state.