Lumina News file photo
Guests at the FOR (Friends of the Reserve) Masonboro.org fundraiser gathered at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort on Oct. 16, 2011, for dinner, music and a silent auction.
Friends of the Reserve, or FOR Masonboro.org, will host its third annual fundraising gala from 4 – 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. With the promise of great food, live music and educational events, children’s activities are new to the gala this year. The night will kick off with interactive educational events led by staff members of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and Wrightsville Beach School marine science instructor Cissie Brooks. These events, plus T-shirt painting, games on the lawn and a Halloween costume contest will keep kids entertained between 4 – 6 p.m.
“We want to bring in the younger generation,” said Lisa Weeks, event organizer, “so we can teach them early on about the importance of conservation.”
The Blockade Runner’s award-winning culinary staff will provide a variety of food for the event, including a Low Country seafood boil, chili, cornbread, southern fried chicken and an abundance of seafood. A children’s menu will also be available, and will include chicken fingers, French fries, popcorn, yogurt machines and Luna Pops.
Live music will be provided indoors by Brazilian guitarist Rafael and Whitney Pearsall. The Dylan Holton Band will play outdoors on the patio, weather permitting.
One of the highlights of the evening will be the silent auction, featuring a variety of items from weekend getaway packages at Wrightsville Beach hotels to surfboards and home décor.
Major sponsors of the event include the Surfrider Foundation and Hope from Helen. The Surfrider Foundation will be conducting a 50/50 raffle with 5 percent of proceeds going to the Surfrider Foundation and 50 percent going to participants.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. All proceeds from the event will go to Friends of the Reserve and toward preserving marine life and continuing conservation of Masonboro Island. Children under 12 are admitted free.
Proceeds from the 2010 gala were used to purchase bikes and kayaks to aid with beach patrols for sea turtle conservation efforts, as well as to hire a part-time coordinator for the program. Last year’s proceeds were also allocated toward the program.
“It’s becoming more and more important to subsidize federal dollars with private,” Weeks said. “[Masonboro Island] is such a special place. We’re fortunate to live so close to it and need to protect it.”