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Western New York Land Conservancy to Host Inaugural Gala | Environment

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Western New York Land Conservancy to Host Inaugural Gala
Environment, Events, News
Western New York Land Conservancy to Host Inaugural Gala


The Western New York Land Conservancy is hosting its first annual gala from 6 to 9 p.m. on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Saturn Club. The Saturn Club was founded in 1885 and is housed in an elegant mansion in Buffalo on Delaware Avenue. There will be live gypsy jazz music by The Hot Club of Buffalo and the event will include an open bar with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a full dinner and dessert. 

The chairs of this year’s gala are Judy Weidemann and Grace Meibohm, both from East Aurora and longtime Land Conservancy supporters. Honorary co-chairs of the event are Congressman Chris Collins and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster who both championed the creation of the Stella Niagara Preserve, the Land Conservancy’s newest nature preserve on the Niagara River in Lewiston. Guests of honor at the event will be Pamela and Joe Priest. The Priests gave a $200,000 challenge gift to help create the Stella Niagara Preserve. 

At the gala, the Land Conservancy will present the Henry J. Kreher Conservation Award to Ellen Neumaier, a supporter who played a major role in the protection of the Mill Road Scenic Overlook in the Town of Aurora, among other conservation projects. Volunteer of the Year Awards will also be presented to the three stewards of the Kenneglenn Scenic and Nature Preserve: Steve Barber, Matt Bubar and Mike McGarry. Kenneglenn is a 131-acre expanse located in Wales that includes portions of the spectacular Hunter’s Creek gorge, and features wetlands and forests, as well as beautiful views of the gently rolling hills that are characteristic of southern Erie County.

Following dinner, there will be a live auction with well-known Buffalo auctioneer Cash Cunningham at the helm. Auction items will include a two-week stay at an exclusive resort in Hawaii; a stunning photograph by Paula Sciuk, a local artist whose work was recently displayed at the Louvre, Paris, France; and many more exciting items. 

In addition to the live auction, an anonymous donor has offered a $10,000 challenge gift. After the auction, every dollar donated at the gala will be doubled in its impact to the Land Conservancy.

Individuals may place bids on auction items in advance by calling the Land Conservancy at (716) 687-1225. All advance bids must be received before 5 p.m. on Sept. 23. You may also pledge to donate to help match the $10,000 challenge gift until Sept. 29. For more information about the event or auction items, please visit the Land Conservancy website at http://wnylc.org/gala/

“The gala is the Land Conservancy’s premier event and our most important fundraiser,” said Nancy Smith, Land Conservancy executive director. “Attendees will be supporting the Land Conservancy’s work to protect the region’s most transformative places, including farms, forests, stream corridors and scenic vistas.”

As of Sept. 1, the gala is sold out. Those wishing to attend who have not yet made reservations can contact the Land Conservancy to be placed on a waiting list. The cost to attend the gala is $150 per person or $200 for patrons who will be recognized in the printed program. 

The gala is made possible by numerous event sponsors, including the main event sponsor, West Herr Automotive Group Inc. Sponsors at the gold level include Ecology and Environment Inc., Hodgson Russ LLP, and Kreher’s Farm Fresh Eggs. Silver sponsors include Eastern Hospitality Advisors, Otis Eastern Service LLC, Phillips Lytle LLP, PRP Financial Solutions LLC, and Rupp, Baase, Pfalzgraf & Cunningham LLC. Sponsors at the Bronze level include Aurora Outfitters, Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors, CC Environment & Planning, C&S Companies, Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm, Gomez and Sullivan Engineers DPC, Make Communities and Meibohm Fine Arts.

The Western New York Land Conservancy is a regional, not-for-profit land trust that permanently protects land with significant conservation value in Western New York for future generations. The Land Conservancy envisions a future in which open spaces, working lands, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty are cherished and protected as part of the landscape and character of Western New York. The Land Conservancy is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and is one of 1,700 land trusts nationwide, including 90 in New York State. Land trusts have protected 40 million acres over the last 20 years. For more information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, or the mission of the Western New York Land Conservancy, please call (716) 687-1225 or visit www.wnylc.org.


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