Chair of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust board Marie-Lou Gerstl said the fundraising dance started as a way to attract younger generations to the organization.
“We went from a sit-down dinner buffet, no live entertainment, enviro-hero awards night to a more lively, fun evening which would attract some of the younger generation,” she said. “After all, it is the younger generation who are going to have to ‘pick up the torch’ for the Land Trust in the future.”
The Rock our World fundraising dance was started last year as a replacement for the gala that had been held for 10 years.
The evening’s goal was to bring in more money for the organization’s stewardship fund.
“It’s used to help finance our day-today operations as well as provide the funds necessary to maintain trails, mow grasslands, pay insurance expenses, taxes on the lands and acquisition costs pertaining to new land donations,” said Gerstl.
The Land Trust currently owns five properties in Haliburton County: Dahl Forest, Barnum Creek Nature Reserve, Norah’s Island, Smith Forest and The Fred and Pearl Barry Wetland Reserve.
Last year’s dance sold 110 tickets and raised $10,200 and gained three new members. This year, the Land Trust is hoping to sell 130 tickets, gain five members and raise $12,000.
Gerstl said the community supports the Land Trust because they understand the importance of donated properties and the endangered species they house.
“The properties that were donated were donated to our community, for their enjoyment and for future generations to enjoy,” said Gerstl. “They understand that the people who donated the properties were and are long-time residents and early settlers of the area who nurtured and loved the land enough to want it conserved.”
The dance will feature a silent and live auction, 50/50 draw, door prizes, food and live music from Jamie Williams.
“This year, we have Raptors tickets, Toronto Maple Leaf tickets (both sets coming with a hotel stay in Toronto), jewelry, a fabulous hand-made basket that incorporates deer antlers, and a funky hall table made from an ‘old forest’ tree,” she said.
The dance will be held Aug. 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Haliburton Legion.
Tickets can be bought online at haliburtonlandtrust.ca and are $30 before the date and $35 the day of.