Troy Toasts Nature Society With Wine Tasting Benefit
More than 200 turn out for the Troy Nature Society's Wine-Tasting Fundraiser at Leon and Lulu in Clawson.
Government and community support for the Troy Nature Society was evident Thursday as more than 200 people purchased tickets to attend the first annual wine tasting fundraiser event to benefit the non-profit organization.
"So far so good," Troy City Councilman Martin Howrylak said of the Nature Society's progress while attending the event at Leon and Lulu in Clawson. "It's a lot of work to get the base level of funding and volunteer work going, but once they get that going I think it will be unstoppable."
The Nature Society partnered with the city earlier this year to take over operations at the Lloyd A. Stage Nature Center and its connected sanctuary. The city had shuttered the doors of the building, as well as programs at the center due to funding issues. However, the non-profit Nature Society has since reopened the center to the public on the weekends and has an active schedule of programs.
Thursday's event will serve as one of the major fundraisers for the society for the year. Tickets to the event sold for $35 each, which included wine, snacks, live entertainment by musical duo Urban Prairie, a 50/50 raffle and silent auction. All items -- with the exception of the wine -- were donated to the society by local businesses, supporters and volunteers.
More than 60 area businesses donated food, art, photo and other items, as well as food and other packages that were purchased during the silent auction. Andy Smilnak, a former middle school teacher in Troy, and Jim White -- who are known together as the musical duo Urban Prairie, donated their time and talents to provide live entertainment during the fundraiser.
John Ragan, president of the Nature Society, said the event brought a good turnout from the public, as well as elected and appointed officials in city.
"We have a lot of great people here that are supporting us," Ragan said. "The city has really helped us, not only with their words, but by showing up and supporting us. This is a partnership."