Woodcock Nature Center gala raises $30,000

Woodcock Nature Center’s sold-out Under the Harvest Moon benefit raised more than $30,000 for the organization’s educational programs in environmental education.

Nearly 200 people gathered in the candlelit outdoor pavilion on Sept. 13 to enjoy food, music and tastings of wine and craft beers. Dinner was crafted by local chef Sarah Bouïssou of Sarah’s Wine Bar in Ridgefield from a selection of surprise fresh produce donated by Wilton’s Ambler Farm and Ridgefield’s Horseshoe Farm and The Hickories.

All proceeds from the event support Woodcock’s well-loved environmental education initiatives which include local outreach, school programs, camp scholarships and a variety of family events and adult education activities aimed at connecting people with the natural world.

“The board and staff at Woodcock Nature Center wish to express their gratitude to sponsor Fairfield County Bank and long-standing supporters Claude and Jennifer Amadeo as well as all the dedicated volunteers, friends and local businesses who helped to make the event a success,” said Executive Director Lenore Herbst. “And of course, a huge thank you to all our attendees for their generous support.”

Ridgefield’s No. 109 Cheese & Wine provided a sampling of artisanal cheeses and appetizers, and a generous wine-tasting selection was poured by Betsy Thompson of Cellar XV in Ridgefield. Guests enjoyed music by local musician and Horseshoe Farm owner Pete Campbell.

Dave Kaye and Sarah Zitnay from Nod Hill Brewery were on hand to offer a tasting of their craft beers alongside selections of Two Roads and Palm. Even Elma, a resident box turtle at Woodcock, made an appearance to greet guests.

The evening included a silent and live auction for a variety of items including unique Woodcock experiences such as catered dinners and a movie night on the 150-acre preserve, gift cards from local restaurants, children and family experiences such as animal encounters and birthday parties and, a very popular VIP Wreath Festival package.