It’s been 25 years since the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) began its conservation education and stewardship work. That’s a lot of “water under the bridge” so to speak, and GARNA is inviting the community to celebrate at its 25th Birthday Bash Fundraiser.
The annual fundraiser and 25th birthday celebration is set for 4:00 p.m. to sunset, on Sept. 12 at River Runners in Buena Vista. Those who purchase VIP tickets will launch upriver at 3:00 p.m. and float into the event on a raft where they will enjoy a champagne welcome party upon arrival.
The event offers a special opportunity for GARNA, together with the conservation community he has served, to present Steve Reese with a Lifetime Achievement Award at 25th Birthday Bash. Reese was the first Colorado State Parks Manager for the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA). His dedication and vision was critical to the creation of GARNA.
“I believed in rivers,” says Reese. “They meant something important. Working for the Arkansas River and the AHRA was a perfect opportunity to have a part in something important.”
“We are so grateful to Steve for his vision. He knew the role GARNA could play in our community, and he showed extreme dedication to getting us off the ground,” says Dominique Naccarato, GARNA Executive Director. “We are honored to celebrate his contribution at our 25th Birthday Bash Fundraiser.”
The event will include dinner by Kalamatapit Catering and dancing to the sweet sounds of the Denver-based Delta Sonics, an award-winning band whose music “takes a Chicago Blues base and seasons it with Swing, Delta, N’awlins R&B and some early Rock n’ Roll.”
Various key people involved with GARNA over the years, will give short toasts to help highlight important milestones in GARNA’s storied history. Funds raised at the gala will support GARNA’s continued work serving the Upper Arkansas Valley. Contributions from sponsors and local individual donors are helping to make the event possible.
The event also features a silent auction that will launch online August 28 and will continue through 7:00 p.m. on September 12. Items will include an hour-long flight over the valley, art, outdoor gear, and more: https://www.accelevents.com/e/garna-silent-auction
The entire event will be outside and allow for social distancing. It is being planned and executed following recommendations from Chaffee County Public Health and will follow their recommendations for making this a safe event for our community. Tickets are on sale through Sept. 2, to purchase tickets go to the GARNA 25th Birthday Bash Fundraiser go to: https://bit.ly/garna25bdaytickets.
For the last quarter-century, GARNA has provided ecological and life-changing programs and opportunities in environmental education, stewardship, 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 are helping to make the event possible.
Through community collaboration, GARNA inspires a conservation ethic by providing educational opportunities and experiences so that those who live, work, and play in the Upper Arkansas Valley are motivated to take care of the natural resources and leave a legacy of responsible use of the natural environment. GARNA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental organization based in Salida, Colorado.
Those interested in supporting GARNA’s work by becoming a member, visit: https://bit.ly/GARNAmembership