Presenting Frogapalooza ​2013


Join us for an evening of fabulous fun and fundraising to support Little River Wetlands Project’s restored wetland nature preserves and free nature programs at our fourth annual Frogapalooza at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 20th at Sweetwater Sound, 5501 US Highway 30 West, Fort Wayne.

Sip a glass of wine, sample hors d’oeuvres, chat with your friends, and plan your bidding on auction items from exclusive getaways and beautiful handcrafted jewelry, to kayaking nature trips and theater packages with your family or friends (see list below). Guests are invited to wear something green (business casual dress) to celebrate the evening’s namesake wildlife.

Then dine on a delicious dinner catered by Catablu—no frog legs, please—and bid for that special item in an exciting live auction with Justin Hoover.

And the best part? All the proceeds go to help fund LRWP's exceptional wetlands restoration work being done right here in our community. LRWP owns Eagle Marsh and three other nearby wetland nature preserves, and its nature programs serve thousands of children and adults every year—all free.

Frogapalooza emcee Curtis Smith, Chief Meteorologist of Indiana’s News Center, frogcasts a perfect evening. See you there!

Tickets are $100 per person, $800 for a table for eight. Frogapalooza sold out last year, so be sure to order your table or tickets soon.

Please mail your check (made out to LRWP) with your complete contact information including phone and e-mail address, as well as names/contact information for any guests, to: LRWP, 7209 Engle Road, Suite 200, Fort Wayne, IN 46804. Or, to pay by credit card, call 260-478-2515. Reservations will be held at the door.

Have questions? Contact us at or 260-478-2515.


Fabulous Frogapalooza auction items

Watch for more to be added soon!


Cosmopolitan, international Toronto beckons. This beautiful and exciting city will spread out before you in a luxurious two-bedroom, two-bath condo at the top of the SOHO Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto. Enjoy theaters, the entertainment district and all downtown sights, then park in your own space and explore the hotel’s many amenities, including three world-class restaurants. Donated by Jerry and Diane Mackel

Escape to pure Michigan for a bit of downtime. Stroll Lake Michigan beaches, hike nature trails, sample local wines, shop or just relax—it’s your choice with this four-night getaway in picturesque Leland, Michigan. You and your guests will enjoy your stay in this comfortable 4-bedroom, 3 ½-bath home on the beautiful Leelenau peninsula near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Arrange during fall, winter or spring. Donated by Pete and Melani Wilson

Know a Colts fan who bleeds blue? The Indianapolis Colts are looking to put their hoofprints all over the playoffs this year with quarterback Andrew Luck and a great team behind him. Head coach Chuck Pagano is back in the saddle, and you’ll be there to cheer them on with these two club-level tickets for the November 10, 2013 home game at Lucas Oil Stadium against major rivals the St. Louis Rams. Donated by Pyromation

Host an elegant wine-tasting party without lifting a finger. Savor fine wines and hors d’oeuvres at this private wine-tasting party for 8-12 guests in the lovely Joseph Decuis Courtyard, with Decuis Emporium wine expert Tony Forcucci as your guide. Donated by Pete and Alice Eshelman of Joseph Decuis

Imagine yourself on the Florida Gulf coast, icy drink in hand… Relax in luxury at this vacation condo midway between Fort Myers and Naples anytime May through October. Your lovely 2,000-square-foot retreat sleeps six in two bedrooms and a den, with two full baths. Visit nearby beaches, play championship golf or enjoy a nature lovers’ paradise at Sanibel Island, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, or state parks a short drive away. Fabulous! Donated by Art and Karen Surguine

Your own classically trained chef? C’est magnifique! Noted local chef Christian Frappier will select food and wine for a special dinner planned with your tastes in mind. Then you’ll watch Christian work his magic right in your kitchen, treating you and seven guests to a multi-course extravaganza of fine cuisine. Dinner preparation donated by Christian Frappier. Food and wine donated by Sturges Development Group

When is a puzzle more than a puzzle? When it’s a Liberty jigsaw puzzle, like this custom puzzle showcasing wildllife seen at Eagle Marsh! Liberty puzzles are works of sculpture in wood--each features dozens of intricate, charming whimsy pieces laser-cut to the puzzle design, with no two pieces alike. For the true jigsaw puzzler, this is a collector’s item. Donated by Marc and Dana Kaminsky

Slip away in canoes or kayaks on a half-day river adventure. Bring three of your friends (and maybe a cooler) for a fun outing, and paddle the St. Joe or Maumee River, You’ll see wildlife where you least expect it and enjoy the beauty of our rivers from a perspective few people ever get to see. Donated by Fort Wayne Outfitters

Learn about the birds, the bees, and more with University of Saint Francis biology professor Larry “Doc” Wiedman and ornithology professor Joe Steensma. Bring up to six nature lovers for this fun and educational two-hour visit to Eagle Marsh, where more than 200 bird species have been seen, or any other LRWP preserve. Donated by Larry Wiedman and Joe Steensma

Hoosiers versus the Wolverines and you’re mid-court! With these two tickets to the hottest Big-Ten basketball game of the year, in Bloomington on Sunday, February 2, at 1 p.m., you’ll watch the teams’ bitter rivalry from great seats at mid-court, about 35 rows up. As a preview, see the Hoosiers sharpen their skills for the battle in their home game against Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, LA) at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 20 (same seats). And be sure to learn the team’s secrets from The Power of Negative Thinking: an Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results, autographed by authors Bobby Knight and Bob Hammell. Tickets donated by Dan and Beth Zweig, book by Jerry and Sue Snyder

Is this a cooking class or a party? How about both? Have fun with a group of friends while learning to prepare six scrumptious new appetizers at this two-hour organic cooking class in your own home for up to 12 people offered by Hamish Matousek, culinary expert at Williams-Sonoma Fort Wayne and owner of EverythinghamisH. All-organic ingredients supplied. Donated by Hamish Matousek

History buff? Nature nut? Learn the secrets of the 2,855-acre Salamonie Reservoir in Andrews, Indiana and surrounding state lands from Property Manager Dennis White. In this two-hour outing, you’ll find scenic areas, explore little-known trails, and hear about the reservoir’s function and history, including the 1965 flooding of Monument City and displacement of its residents. Donated by Dennis White

Take a Zumba class, swim laps in the pool, lift some weights and more—keep your family fit and active all year ‘round. One-year family membership to any Fort Wayne YMCA. Donated by the Fort Wayne YMCA

Get an insider’s look at how we care for LRWP preserves and have the chance to view a burn with LRWP’s Director of Preserves and Programs Betsy Yankowiak. In a two-hour visit to Eagle Marsh, you’ll be taken to worksites for new habitat enhancement projects to learn how we control invasives and re-establish native plants. Then, as a bonus, you’ll be invited to witness a prescribed burn at Eagle Marsh or the nearby Arrowhead preserves. Donated by Little River Wetlands Project

Melty mozzarella and spicy sauce—Pepperoni in September, veggie or Italian sausage in October? Treat yourself to a different large Pizza Hut pizza every month for an entire year (carry-out only). Donated by Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne

Frogs frolic on this adorable baby quilt for your favorite little nature lover. This future heirloom comes with its own keepsake bag for storage and a plush marsh creature for baby to love. Donated by Janet Tellas

Enjoy nature face-to-face. Take a guided kayak trip for two and learn about the plants and wildlife you’ll see along the way with expert area naturalists Sam Schwartz and Steve Ross. Includes lunch or dinner at a local restaurant. Choose any nearby river or stream for your outing. Donated by Sam Schwartz and Steve Ross

The ultimate party for kids who love the outdoors! Plan your child’s or grandchild’s birthday party or other outing for up to 15 children and four adults with LRWP naturalist and retired teacher Liz Hincks. Children aged 5-12 will enjoy a theme-based party in the Eagle Marsh barn and on the trails, plus a casual cookout (total time two hours). Possible themes: CSI of the Marsh (hunt for tracks, scat, and other animal signs), Birds, Pond Life, Butterflies and more. Donated by LRWP

A night on the town, with dinner and a show. Use this six-ticket flex package good for six seats at any Civic Theatre production--or divide up among several shows--for the rest of the 2013-2014 season. On one of these evenings, your party can grab a bite or a sip with this $75 gift certificate from Chop’s Restaurant or Wine Bar. Tickets donated by Civic Theatre, gift certificate by Chop’s

Learn the ins and outs of nature photography in this two-hour outing at Eagle Marsh or other local preserve with photographer par excellence Paul McAfee. Then view nature from on high in Art Wolfe’s Edge of the Earth/Corner of the Sky, a book of 130 photographs and five essays showing images of our beloved planet that will thrill and awe you. Photography outing donated by Paul McAfee, book by Judy Nelsen

Jewelry just like you—a study in contrasts. Luminescent pearls contrast with soft black leather in this distinctive hand-crafted necklace and bracelet ensemble, perfect for casual wear. Created and donated by Penny Atkinson

Gourmet Italian dinner in a basket, with just the right wine accompaniments. You’ll put together this perfectly flavored olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pasta and Italian herbs to create a gourmet Italian dinner for four, then choose from six organic wines to savor with it and for later feasts as well. Food and basket donated by Olive Twist of Fort Wayne and Auburn, wine gift certificate by Cap N’ Cork

What’s trump? No, we don’t mean The Donald. Learn to play the fun and intellectually stimulating game of bridge, or sharpen your skills to win, with expert Judy Nelsen, a Bridge Life Master with over 2,000 masterpoints. Good for three lessons (7 1/2 hours total) for up to eight people in your home or three games with Judy at the Fort Wayne Duplicate Bridge Club. Donated by Judy Nelsen

Game, set and…groove? Almost more fun than playing a winning set against a Wimbledon champ! Burn calories, increase your fitness and improve your game at the same time in this fun, music-fuelled group workout with a gift certificate for a month of four cardio-tennis lessons for two. Donated by Wildwood Racquet Club

Serve up some “riveting” party snacks. This unique platter will steal the show at your next gathering—it’s stainless steel with an accompanying frog-shaped dish for a tasty dip. Add some crackers or crudités and you’re ready to party! Donated by Sara Keltsch of The Monogram Shoppe

Fine art with a naturalist’s keen eye. This 27" x 20" artist’s proof of a Grey Screech Owl is signed by artist E. Darrell Smith and ready for framing. Smith’s paintings of birds evoke the intricate works of John James Audubon. This charming owl will enhance any living room, study, or office. Donated by Crestwoods Frame Shop and Gallery

Make your yard a neighborhood showpiece with the services of Phil Rutledge, landscape designer, Indiana-accredited Master Horticulturist, and owner of Planscape, Inc. Includes site visit and design landscape plan. Phil is a master of creating landscapes of distinction, and he’ll show you how beautiful your own “habitat” can become. Donated by Phil Rutledge of Planscape

Top-secret chocolate-chip cookie recipe from Firehole Ranch Lodge, Ted Turner’s mountain hangout in Montana. The winning bidder must swear to keep the secret of these crisp, delicious cookies made locally famous by Carol Brooks. And you’ll definitely want to bid once you taste a scrumptious sample tonight. Hey there, one to a customer! Recipe and plate donated by Melani Wilson, sample cookies by Carol Brooks

Straighten up and get your thighs right with a month of unlimited classes at Mindful Movements Pilates Studio in Fort Wayne and a month of unlimited yoga or fitness classes at The Powers of One in Roanoke. Then soothe those tender muscles with a one-hour massage every month for three months and other membership perks at Massage Envy in Fort Wayne. Donated by Mindful Movements, The Powers of One, and Massage Envy

Head into fall in colorful style with these matched Vera Bradley pieces—perfect for a game, picnic or other casual event. Pack your gear in this large duffel, take along the throw blanket for warmth, and don’t forget the umbrella in case of rain--all in the brand-new Cocoa Moss pattern. Donated by Vera Bradley

Bring the fall beauty of Eagle Marsh into your own home with this lovely framed oil-on-hardboard painting of a September morning at our favorite preserve by noted local artist and University of Saint Francis adjunct professor of art Tom Keesee. Donated by Tom Keesee

Some cabernet with that landscape consultation? Yes, please! Stroll through your yard with landscape designer Laura Stine as you enjoy an hour-long consultation complete with wine and cheese (supplied by Laura). You may have a specific topic or area you would like to address, or be interested in questions such as how to use more environmentally-friendly gardening methods or integrate more native plants into your landscape. Donated by Laura Stine Gardens.

Who-o-o’s that? Party with the creatures of the night including owls, bats, frogs and more at this unique evening at Eagle Marsh for up to 16 guests. Includes a bonfire, casual cookout, folk tales or scary stories, and either an owl prowl with an expert naturalist who can tell you whose eyes are shining out of the darkness or a fun tutorial on which frog is serenading you now. Donated by LRWP

Settle in for fall with a glass of fine, single-barrel bourbon beside a roaring fire. This gift certificate is for two bottles of bourbon, each from an individual aging barrel bottled separately by small-batch producers in Kentucky and hand-picked by Cap N’ Cork’s Andy Lebamoff on his Bourbon Tour. Donated by Cap N’ Cork

Winter’s subtle palette - The soft colors of winter at Eagle Marsh will soothe and delight you in this framed oil-on-hardboard plein air painting by local artist and University of Saint Francis adjunct professor of art Tom Keesee. Donated by Tom Keesee

Visit a home where the buffalo roam…Enjoy a unique outdoor experience at the home of John and Carol Brooks, whose beautiful property near Roanoke flanks the Little River. Your party of eight will want to tour the native tall-grass prairie, old-growth woods and other protected areas where elk and buffalo roam. Then enjoy a lesson in skeet-shooting or fly-fishing (your choice) before sitting down to a casual dinner with John and Carol. Donated by John and Carol Brooks

This big bang isn’t just a theory! Ever wonder who gets to set off the explosives that blow out the wall of the quarry? This time it’s YOU. Your party of six will visit Stone Street Quarries in Hoagland to see how a quarry is run, then one of you gets to push the button to set off the charge. While you’re there, enjoy a casual box lunch. Donated by Stone Street Quarries

Mysterious lady, you’ll smolder when you wear this lovely necklace and earrings of smoky quartz stones and sterling silver. And where there’s smoke, there’s fire! Donated by Melani Wilson Designs

Invite tiny wrens to build a nest in this one-of-a-kind house designed by clay artist Tom Sherbondy with real birds in mind. The dowels underneath hold the nest safely but can be pulled out later to remove it for easy cleaning. Hang it in the shade near trees or just place it in your garden to admire. Donated by Tom Sherbondy.

A garden bright with flowers and butterflies. Monarchs, tiger swallowtails, and red admirals will adorn the flowers they love in your sunny 10’ by 10’ butterfly garden made up of 13 varieties of native plants (49 plants). Pick up the 3.75" plugs at Heartland Restoration’s native plant nursery this fall or next spring and plant them soon after. Then sit back to welcome a colorful succession of butterfly visitors, many of which are in decline due to habitat loss. Donated by Heartland Restoration Services

From barn to begonias…Memories of a hundred-year-old Indiana barn live again in this one-of-a-kind planter made from reclaimed barn wood. Hexagonal in shape with a plastic inner container, this historic piece is perfect for your favorite plantings in garden or home. Donated by Old Legacy Timbers

Authentic, wood-fired pizza—and more. Choose from an incredible menu of artisan pizzas, small plates, wood-grilled entrees and delicious salads prepared with seasonal ingredients at 800º Three Fires Restaurant on Illinois Road or 800º Wood Fired Pizza on Lima Road. Your $100 gift certificate offers a truly special dining experience, and save room for cappuccino chip gelato! Donated by 800 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza

Be the party animal who has everything. You’ll choose just the right decorations, masks, balloons, tableware, and more to celebrate your family member’s birthday or another special occasion with this $100 gift certificate for party materials from Shindigz. Donated by Shindigz

Experience gourmet tastes of the town with this package from two local upscale restaurants. Seafood at The Oyster Bar has been called “off the charts delicious,” and you’ll visit twice with this gift card for $40 for two dinners and $20 for two lunches. On another special day, seek out the creatively prepared fare at Catablu Grille with this gift card for any scrumptious meal. Gift cards donated by The Oyster Bar and Catablu

An exclusive getaway for two and a Mercedes Benz to take you there! Choose either a 2014 Mercedes Benz e350 4-matic sedan or a classic 1986 Mercedes Benz 500sl Euro-spec convertible for your trip to the Oakwood Inn on Lake Wawasee, now fully restored as an elegant resort. During your two-night stay in this picturesque inn featuring luxurious rooms and panoramic lake views, use this $50 gift card to dine in either of Oakwood’s outstanding restaurants. You’ll enjoy swimming, boating, or relaxing on the resort’s 27-acre grounds—or maybe you’ll sneak away in your incredible vehicle and cruise to see the sights. Any way you choose, this will surely be a weekend to remember! Room and dining certificate donated by Oakwood Inn and Resort, car use by Mercedes Benz of Fort Wayne

Does your car whimper when it’s dirty? Make it sparkle with this detailing kit containing streak-proof glass cleaner, quick yellow wax, sponge, drying cloth and glove, and a plastic bucket to hold them all. And, for an extra-special occasion, take your baby to the 14/69 Car Wash Supercenter for a total reconditioning package that includes interior cleaning, engine cleaning, and buff and wax. Donated by Kelley Chevrolet

Even the birds will be impressed with this elegant and appealing feeder that will be a focal point in any yard. Featuring a beautiful copper-like roof, it is entirely functional—the top easily unscrews for loading and cleaning. Fill it with your favorite wild-bird seed mix, hang it out of reach of the squirrels, and watch the avian diners fly in. Donated by The Bird Seedery

You'll go frog-wild with this basket of frog memorabilia including three pairs of fun socks adorned with our favorite amphibian, a frog-shaped planter, a book about frogs, and more. Socks donated by Cynthia Wilkin, planter by Carol Brooks, book by Judy Nelsen

It’s a small world indeed-and Brian Lee’s camera captures these intimate photographs of a green tree frog illuminated on an Eagle Marsh leaf and camouflaged on the fronds of a fern. The photos were then transferred to canvas stretched over a 16″ x 20″ wooden frame, creating two beautiful pieces of art for your wall. Later, preserve your own memories with a Shindigz gift certificate to perform the same magic with a photo of your own. Pictures donated by Brian Lee, transferring of Brian’s photos and a gift certificate to transfer one of your own by Shindigz.