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Image courtesy of GARNA

The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association’s (GARNA) Annual Fundraiser Celebrates 27 Years of Stewardship

GARNA’s annual fundraiser and celebration of 27 years of Upper Arkansas Valley public lands stewardship, volunteerism, environmental education, and sustainability will be at River Runners in Buena Vista. The celebration is set to begin at 5:00 p.m., and runs “until the stars come out” on Thursday, August 24.

The event is family-friendly and includes inexpensive tickets for kids, plenty of beach time, food, drinks, and music. River Runners is located at 24070 CR 301. The entire event will be outdoors, so attendees should dress appropriately for the weather.

The public is welcome to come dance the night away as the event also honors GARNA’s outgoing Executive Director Dominique Naccarato, as she says “goodbye” and celebrates the past five years of GARNA success under her leadership.

Ticket Pricing:

$150 for VIP Float and Pre-Party (at the time of writing only 10 VIP tickets remain)

$55 for a Gala Ticket (at the time of writing 39 tickets remain)

$20 for Gala Ticket Under 18 (at the time of writing only 6 tickets remain)

$0 for Gala Ticket Under 6 (at the time of writing only 6 tickets remain)

Tickets are available for purchase online.

Dinner is included in the ticket price, catered by High Country BBQ, Sorelle Delicatessen, and Little Red Hen Bakery. Music will be provided by the Rusty Lungs, a local band playing rock, alt-rock, and country. Beverages will be provided by Elevation Beer Company, Breakthru Beverage, and Woods Distillery.

VIP ticket holders will launch upriver for a leisurely float down the milk run at 4:00 p.m. After their river excursion, they will kick off the event with a champagne toast. VIP tickets are limited.

River Runners is offering camping onsite for guests who wish to stay the night. Sites do need to be reserved. Campsite requests should be directed to

The event will also feature a silent auction to launch online prior to the event. The auction will continue throughout the evening on August 24. Silent auction items will include a Badfish Surf Traveler Stand Up Paddleboard, a Hyside raft cooler, a 4-Hour fly fishing float with a Patagonia backpack, and other items from local businesses.

The silent auction will open to bid the morning of the event on August 24 in a hybrid format for both attendees and those at home online here.

For 27 years, GARNA has provided critical ecological and stewardship programs and opportunities in environmental education, public lands volunteerism, and sustainability. Funds raised at the gala will support GARNA’s continued work serving the Upper Arkansas Valley in these areas.  Contributions from sponsors and local individual donors help to make the event possible. According to GARNA’s website, $19,530 has been raised by fifty-nine people at the time of writing with a target goal of $50,000.

Community members interested in sponsoring the event or providing a silent auction item can email Jessica Downing at