Friends of VI National Park Sets Record

yelena 3 gala
Image credit: Yelena Rogers Photography

The Friends of VI National Park raised more than $70,000 at its annual gala last weekend, setting a new fundraising record. Here are all of the details courtesy of Friends of VI National Park…

It was St. John’s “Gala of Gala’s” and people are still talking about the legendary good time they had while supporting a great cause: Friends of Virgin Islands National Park. The event sold out to 250 guests and net more than $70,000 – a new record. Each year, Friends invests about $550,000 in park programs and projects, with 21 of them underway this year. Each dollar raised helps support the protection, preservation and education which Friends has provided for more than 26 years.

On February 7th, 250 Friends supporters arrived by champagne shuttle from Trunk Bay to Presidio Del Mar in Peter Bay, home of Steven & Pamela Deckoff, filling the home with friendship and laughter. The guests were served by more than 40 volunteers, professional bartenders and catering staff throughout the night.

Image credit: Yelena Rogers Photography
Image credit: Yelena Rogers Photography

The Friend’s gala signature of red carpet and white roses welcomed guests to the “National Treasures Gala” as the event kicked off with cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres, carving and seafood stations and even gourmet pastry chef offerings later that evening. The wine and champagne was top notch and impressed even the most discriminating conoisseurs. The In the Sand Band had people dancing before it even got dark. Kim Holland offered her famous “Taste of History” aged rum bar where she dramitically smoked and served rums older than some of the guests. Her special bar also offered fine cigars. In another part of the beautiful villa, the St. John Photo Booth donated their time to take fun and glamourous pictures of the gala guests.

Always a highlight of the event, this years’ raffle and silent auction were no exception. Lucky winners took home artwork, jewelry, dining packages, lodging and lots of other great prizes, including a week at the Ritz-Carlton in Vail, Colorado which was won by Curtis Penn. Rachel Manning was the lucky winner of the special jewelry raffle while she was here from Maine to visit her friends, John and Kathy Reny. For just a $50 raffle ticket, she won a 14k red gold heart pendant donated by R&I PATTON that was inlayed with Bronze Mother of Pearl and set with 0.90ctw Diamonds. The value of the pendant was $3,469, so Manning had very big smile!

Friends of VI National Park thanks all those who helped create and celerate this 11th Annual Gala! Friends owes this success to the many volunteers that kept overhead low and service high, to auction and raffle donors and to guests who came to support the cause.

Friends would like to say thank you to all those who made it a night to remember! Sponsors and partners include Premier Wine & Spirits, deSIGNS, In the Sand Band, Josephine’s Greens, Island Cork, Bellows/West Indies, St. John Brewing, Caribbean Food Service and St. John Ice. With more than 100 businesses and individuals who donated items to the raffle, it was truly a community effort!

Photos of the gala were taken by Yelena Rogers Photography and can be linked to through the Friends homepage at www.friendsvinp.org.

Image credit: Yelena Rogers Photography
Image credit: Yelena Rogers Photography

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