Last month, in July 2012 Conservation Fisheries turned Twenty! We've actually been doing this work for more than 20 years....since about 1986 actually. And if you count work done as graduate students here at the University of Tennessee, even longer! But, in July 1992, we were incorporated as a non-profit corporation! Now, for any of you that know us or have seen our facility, it's kinda hard to think of us as corporate! But.....that's us!
So, to celebrate this auspicious occasion, we threw a party....well, let's call it a fundraiser! And we call it Whites Creek Palooza because we have been fortunate enough to hold it on the property of our good friend and board member Steve Scarborough. Steve and his wife Annie have a beautiful place on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau on Whites Creek.
Above is a view from their deck!
The party this year was rather limited in scope. There's not just a whole lot of room at Steve and Annie's place, but there were probably a hundred or more folks that drifted in and out this year. We are discussing the possibility of having a second, larger fund raiser for future years.
Relaxing in the creek was the order of the day. Recent rains had the creek up a bit and visibility wasn't what it often is, but I didn't hear anyone complaining!
Towards evening, we had a great dinner courtesy of our hosts (mostly!) and then an auction, the proceeds of which went to CFI! We want to thank everyone that donated to the auction. There were some great items to choose from! Below is a list of those that contributed auction items. I apologize in advance to anyone I fail to mention here! If your name is not listed it is my oversight! Thanks to the following (in no particular order):
Fisher Tire North
Tom and Kat Moore
Mary Lynn Dobson
Professional Painting by Matt Prentice
Joe Matlock and Rita Senko
Jill Colquitt Fisher
Mark Brown/Chota Outdoor Gear
The money raised from the auction and general donations will go toward replacing some of our aging equipment. We have pumps that have been running non-stop for more than 10 years! We have racks that are corroding to the point that we worry about their collapse! Our air conditioning is pretty scary these days and the extreme heat isn't helping! These are all expenses that are often not considered when new grants and contracts are awarded! So we thank you and the fish thank you!
The evening was rounded out with music by Jay Clark and Sarah Pirkle!
Later, some of the rest of us joined in for a fun evening!
We want to thank everyone that helped make this fundraiser a success! Our dedicated and talented staff!, Steve and Annie (of course!) and all of the folks that donated to the auction! And thanks to all our friends that came to our party! And, finally, thanks to the agencies and organizations that have allowed us to keep after this work for the past twenty (plus!) years!!! Endangered species recovery is a long term commitment. Thanks to so many of you that realize this! We certainly couldn't do it without you!