Join us for an evening of fun and fundraising at LRWP’s sixth annual Frogapalooza on Friday, October 23 (6 to 9 p.m.) at the Fort Wayne Country Club. The event, presented by Phillips Financial Services (see sponsor list below), will be pretty special, because we’ll celebrate our 25th anniversary that evening. Our theme is “take your imagination for a hike,” and you’ll know why when you learn how far we’ve come and hear our exciting plans. Be ready for a surprise announcement over dessert!
Sip a glass of wine, chat with your friends, and plan your bidding on auction items from hard-to-get sports tickets to kayaking nature trips and theater packages (see auction list below). The evening will begin with drinks (cash bar), hors d’oeuvres, and a great silent auction. Then your choice of dinner entrées will be served at your table, followed by a brief presentation and our live auction featuring one-of-a-kind getaways as well as gourmet experiences and a Lake Erie fishing weekend.
Tickets to Frogapalooza are $100 each, $800 for a table of eight, or $1,000 for a table of ten. Call 260-478-2515 for information or to buy tickets by credit card (no American Express, please). Or mail your check to LRWP, 7209 Engle Road, Ste. 200, Fort Wayne IN 46804. Dress for the event is business-casual. Don’t forget to indicate your dinner choices* and to send the names and dinner choices of your guests.
*Lemon thyme chicken, pan-seared Atlantic salmon, or vegetarian (vegetable purse).
All funds raised help LRWP to care for its wetland nature preserves and offer its free nature programs to thousands of children and adults every year.
See you there!
# 1 A Lake Erie fishing experience you’ll never forget. Spring is the season for walleye and smallmouth bass in western Lake Erie—bring home a cooler full of these and more when you escape with up to five friends for exceptional fishing with your own professional guide. Your trip begins the day before when you travel to Oak Harbor, Ohio (about 100 miles) in time to visit nearby Magee Marsh Wildlife Preserve for fabulous birding. Then check into your clean, comfortable two-bedroom cabin (sleeps six) before dining at the historic Mon Ami Restaurant & Winery with a $100 gift card. Rise early the next morning to board a 30’ sport craft for a guided fishing experience second to none, ladies welcome. Use between April 15 and June 7. Fishing experience donated by Captains Jeff Spesia and Darcy Andrews of Summer Break Charters & Lodging. Fuel, lodging, and dinner gift card donated by Bill and Linda Etzler
# 2 Your own classically trained chef prepares an exquisite dinner party at your home. 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, $400 for food and wine by Sturges Development Group
# 3 Host an elegant wine-tasting party without lifting a finger. Imagine hosting an intimate wine-tasting party at gourmet local restaurant Joseph Decuis, which consistently earns the "Best of Award of Excellence" by Wine Spectator and has been voted one of the Top 50 restaurants in the US. You and your guests (up to 10 total) will sip fine wines with wine experts as your guide and savor scrumptious hors d'oeuvres in the restaurant’s lovely outdoor Courtyard during warmer months or upstairs in its comfy Chairman’s Office when the weather cools. Or, choose simply to savor the selection of fine wines and variety of gourmet tastes while enjoying conversation with your friends in this exclusive private setting. Donated by Pete and Alice Eshelman of Joseph Decuis
# 4 Remember the fun of camping under the stars? Enjoy a truly unique overnight experience including a cookout over an open fire, guided night hike, tall tales, sleepover (your tents) and light breakfast with up to 16 family and friends at Arrowhead Prairie, one of LRWP’s most beautiful preserves. You’ll experience the sights and sounds of the preserve at night, starting with sunset over the prairie and a casual cookout around an open fire—s’mores included. Then enjoy folk tales or scary stories and a night hike with expert naturalist Betsy Yankowiak. Your evening will take place under the most spectacular starry sky possible because there are no nearby lights. Arrowhead Prairie, normally off limits to camping, is also a place of glorious wildflowers and incredible quiet, with nothing but nature’s music to lull you to sleep. Donated by Little River Wetlands Project
# 5 Cosmopolitan, international Toronto beckons. This beautiful and exciting city will spread out before you for your week-long stay in a luxurious two-bedroom, two-bath condo at the top of the SOHO Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto. Take in the theaters, 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
# 6 Chicago getaway weekend for four, with optional Chicago baseball. Slip away to enjoy shopping, shows, and all the sights, then relax in a two-bedroom, two-bath condo on Chicago lakefront’s Lincoln Park, with parking. Your home for a four-day/three-night stay puts you within a quick cab ride of the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, Millennium Park and all downtown venues. This condo is available almost any weekend so your party of four can also enjoy attending a Chicago Cubs or White Sox game with tickets to great seats at any of four games normally reserved for corporate VIPs. The Cubs’ Wrigley Field is only a short cab ride from the condo and, if your choice is a Sox game, parking is included. Choose from among these games (condo guaranteed available): April 30 Cubs vs Braves, May 28 Cubs vs Phillies, April 23 Sox vs. Rangers, June 11 Sox vs. Royals. Donated by Judy Nelsen
1. Come for the exceptional golf, stay for the delicious dinner. This outing for four at the Fort Wayne Country Club begins with your party’s challenging and rewarding golf experience on a beautiful 18-hole course shaped by a Bob Lohmann master plan. Your group will play your way through the quiet, serene surroundings of the Club with your own golf cart. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy savory dinners (appetizer, entrée, and dessert) in FWCC’s elegant yet casual Pub & Porch restaurant, with wine, beer or other alcoholic drinks available for purchase. Reservations subject to availability and club policy. Use by 10/31/16. Donated by the Fort Wayne Country Club.
2. What goes with front-row seats for the Texas Tenors better than a Southwest barbeque? With their Emmy-award-winning PBS special and chart-topping albums, the Texas tenors are hot, hot, hot. Your party of four will have front-row seats to experience the group’s unique blend of country, folk, opera, and Broadway music on Sunday, April 17 (3 p.m.) at a premier venue, the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio in Van Wert, 45 minutes from downtown Fort Wayne. Before the show, enjoy a Southwestern buffet for four featuring barbequed ribs, chicken and prime ribs at the nearby Willow Bend Country Club. Donated by the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio and the Willow Bend Country Club of Van Wert
3. Slip away in canoes or kayaks on a half-day river adventure. Bring three of your friends 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. Then stop at nearby Don Hall's Old Gas House Restaurant for a view of the river while you dine with this $50 gift certificate for any Hall’s restaurant. Donated by Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot and Don Hall’s Restaurants
4. This ingenious jigsaw puzzle could pass as sculptural art. This Liberty jigsaw puzzle features Brian Wood’s fabulous photo of a gathering of great egrets and great blue herons at Eagle Marsh. Liberty puzzles are works of sculpture in wood--each features dozens of intricate, whimsically shaped pieces laser-cut to the puzzle design, with no two alike. Truly a collector’s item. Donated by Marc and Dana Kaminsky
5. Zoo to you and pizza too! Fort Wayne is a great town for kids/grandkids, and yours are sure to say “awesome” to this zoo and food package. All next season, your whole family can enjoy a membership (or anything else worth $109) at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, voted one of the ten best in the U.S. Then, before or after your zoo visits or at a whole other time, treat everyone to a different large Pizza Hut pizza every month for an entire year (dine-in or carry-out). Donated by the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne
6. These gnomes will perform garden magic! Do you dread facing your garden with no time to do needed clean-up, planting, mulching or weeding? Our five skilled gardeners will give three hours of their time in spring or fall to get your biggest garden jobs done. Let them get dirty, not you! Donated by Susie Meyers, Kathie Sessions, Marlene Sloat, Karen Surguine, and Fran Williams
7. Learn to knit (or improve your skills) in private lessons with a friend. Always wanted to knit those beautiful scarves and sweaters you see others wearing? You’ll learn this relaxing, creative pastime with an hour of personalized knitting lessons for two (any skill level) at Fort Wayne’s Knitting Off Broadway, a shop run by experts who’ll have you knitting and purling before you know it! Comes with two size-7 needles and a book and DVD on how to knit. Lesson donated by Knitting Off Broadway, book and DVD by Marcia Futter
8. Art with a naturalist’s eye and a painter’s sensibility. This small framed oil-on-hardboard plein air painting of Eagle Marsh in April by award-winning local artist and University of Saint Francis adjunct professor of art Tom Keesee will bring nature’s quiet beauty into your home. Donated by Tom Keesee
9. Can she bake a cherry pie, Charming Billy? You bet, and plenty more! Are you salivating already at the prospect of taking home this luscious apple pie (made by Kathie Sessions) and having six more fresh, homemade pies delivered to your door (within 20 miles of Eagle Marsh) over the next 10 months? These gourmet offerings can include cherry, apple, pumpkin, peach, strawberry rhubarb, French chocolate or most others of your choice by arrangement. Donated by pie-makers Kathy Candioto, Susie Meyer, Kathie Sessions, Barbara Steinkamp, and Amy Silva
10. Learn the secrets of dedicated birder and master photographer Joe Geisler. Maybe you’ve seen Joe’s beautiful close-ups of birds and other wildlife on LRWP’s Facebook page. For this half-day or longer outing, you and a friend will join Joe to find and photograph the birds of Eagle Marsh and other nearby preserves. Start at dawn—the time when birds are most active—at Eagle Marsh, identified as one of the top ten birding areas in northern Indiana. Then enjoy breakfast (Joe’s treat) and trips to one or two other nearby great birding areas (Joe’s gas) before calling it a day. As a lasting souvenir, Joe will present you with a framed copy of the best photo of the day. Donated by Joe Geisler
11. Get your mojo moving with spinning classes at Mindful Movements Pilates Studio. Top instructors, invigorating music and visualization will come together to make your five classes both fun and effective whether you’re a newcomer or already fit and flexible. Mindful Movements’ new Spinner® Blade ION™ bikes provide one-of-a-kind precise measurement of ‘real effort’ plus a constant display of biometric feedback to track your gains. Donated by Mindful Movements Pilates Studio
12. Dinosaurs up close and personal. Go face to face with prehistory in this incredible look at the teeth and bones of dinosaurs, mastodons, saber-toothed tigers, and more in this two-hour, hands-on visit for four with Dr. Larry Wiedman and his personal paleontology collection at the University of Saint Francis. Touch dinosaur dung, trilobites over 400 million years old, and lots of other fossils you’d usually only see in a museum--and hear how all these items were found. For adults and children aged seven or older. Donated by Larry Wiedman
13. With the touch of a magic wand, your holiday gifts will all be wrapped as our talented elves make your gift-wrapping nightmare turn into a dream come true. Using your own favorite paper and ribbon, our four skilled “wrappers” will give four hours of their time to lighten your holiday preparations. Can be used at your home (within 20 miles of Eagle Marsh) or (for extra secrecy) ours. Use by 12/15/15. Donated by Kathy Candioto, Mary Kay Hagerman, Susie Meyer, Kathie Sessions, and Fran Williams.
14. 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 for eight years and owner of EverythinghamisH. (Schedule by 11/23/15, use by 5/23/16.) All-organic ingredients supplied. And, take home this basket of organic goodies tonight for a preview of coming attractions. Donated by Hamish Matousek
15. A garden bright with flowers and butterflies—and artfully placed, too. Monarchs, tiger swallowtails, and red admirals will adorn the flowers they love in your sunny 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 next spring or fall, get some advice from landscape designer Laura Stine on where they would look best in your garden, and plant them soon after. Then sit back to welcome a colorful succession of butterfly visitors. Plants donated by Heartland Restoration Services, landscaping advice by Laura Stine
16. Keep your family fit and active all year. Take a Zumba class, swim laps in the indoor pool, lift weights and more—there’s a fun way for everyone to exercise at the Fort Wayne YMCA. One-year household membership or renewal to any Fort Wayne YMCA; use by December 31, 2015 for the following year. Donated by the Fort Wayne YMCA
17. Kayak the river with guides who know their stuff. Take a 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
18. 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 2015-2016 season. On one of these evenings, your party can enjoy a delicious seafood dinner at our own Paula’s on Main. Ticket package donated by Civic Theatre, $50 gift certificate by Paula’s on Main
19. Give yourself a fresh new look when you shop with this $100 gift certificate from Fort Wayne’s Jophiel, where fashionable clothing of classic good taste is matched with superb customer service. Then visit Merle Norman Luxe Spa and Salon for a $50 salon beauty treatment to complete your transformation. Gift certificates donated by Jophiel and Merle Norman Luxe Spa and Salon
20. An exclusive getaway for two and a Mercedes-Benz to take you there! Choose a 2015/2016 Mercedes Benz sedan, SUV or crossover or a classic 1986 Mercedes-Benz 500sl Euro-spec convertible for your trip to the Oakwood Inn on Lake Wawasee, now restored to impressive elegance. During your two-night stay in this picturesque inn featuring panoramic lake views, you’ll be free to enjoy fine dining, swimming or boating on the largest natural lake in Indiana, and relaxing on the inn’s 27-acre grounds. Or, just cruise around in your incredible vehicle to see the sights. (Inn certificate and car can also be used at different times.) Room donated by Oakwood Resort, car use by Mercedes-Benz of Fort Wayne
21. 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
22. Party in a basket. Pull out this basket for your next casual get-together, and you’ll have almost everything you need for a simple yet elegant spread--a carefully curated selection of fine cheeses, crudités, and more. Or, replenish your fresh and flavorful goodies with this $100 Fresh Market gift certificate. Basket donated by Fresh Market, gift certificate by Judy Nelsen
23. A “go-everywhere” jacket with custom-tailored fit… This classic Paul Betenly Super 120’s all-wool navy men’s blazer from Christopher James Menswear of Fort Wayne takes you from the office to casual outings in elegant style any time of the year. Your own finely made jacket will be sized and tailored just for you for a perfect fit. Redeem certificate by December 30, 2014. Donated by Christopher James Menswear
24. Upscale dining near downtown Fort Wayne. Seafood at the Oyster Bar has been called “off the chart delicious,” and you’ll agree after visiting with this $100 gift card. Mmm, just imagine those Prince Edward Island mussels and littleneck clams sautéed with garlic, shallots, tomato and white wine lemon broth! A perfect prelude to an evening concert or play downtown. Donated by The Oyster Bar
25. Deepen your yoga practice with a mindful workout. With this month-long pass to any classes or workshops at the Pranayoga Institute of Yoga and Holistic Health in southwest Fort Wayne, you’ll learn the skills of this ancient practice as well as mindfulness in a nurturing setting, whether you’re at a beginning level or ready for more expert or specialized instruction. Donated by the Pranayoga Institute of Yoga and Holistic Health
26. From ukes to Gershwin, two fun musical evenings—and dinner at Chop’s, too. On January 31 (7:30 p.m.), you and a guest will enjoy a Philharmonic Pops concert featuring the work of ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro. Earning accolades and comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, this virtuoso’s instrument has never sounded so vital and contemporary. Then on February 20 (7:30 p.m.), you’ll hear the Phil’s Masterworks series feature the music of George Gershwin. It's delightful, it's delectable, it's delirious! Before or after one of the concerts (or on a different date), grab a bite or a sip with this $50 gift card from Chop’s Restaurant or Wine Bar. Two tickets to each concert donated by Anonymous, gift certificate by Chop’s
27. Bring birds—and color—to your backyard. This lovely decorative birdbath shimmers with nature's colors of sky and sun. The glazed glass bowl is large enough to host any number of avian bathers--and its sturdy three-legged stand will resist tipping by the most determined squirrel. Can also be used indoors to complement your home décor. Donated by The Bird Seedery
28. Go anywhere in style with this Vera Bradley ensemble. This zippered travel bag in the beautiful midnight blues pattern has sturdy handles, a removable strap, and lots of pockets inside and out. The front zip pocket keeps travel necessities convenient and secure, while the two back slip pockets are perfect for a cell phone or boarding passes. Your bag is carry-on compliant, and it comes with two matching cosmetic bags to keep everything just where you want it. Donated by John and Carol Brooks
29. Catch your family among the beautiful wildflowers of Eagle Marsh—on film! Professional photographer Sue Todia will spend an hour at your home, Eagle Marsh, or any other appealing nearby setting to capture you and your significant others on film. You’ll receive a CD of the exciting photos about two weeks later. Be ready to show off the results! Donated by Sue Todia of Simply Photography
30. Take them out to a ball game with these TinCaps tickets and hats! Baseball lovers, have a ball using this gift certificate for four tickets to TinCaps games in the 2016 season. Our favorite home team made the Midwest League Playoff for the seventh straight year in 2015, so support them to do it again by wearing these great TinCaps hats. Donated by the Fort Wayne TinCaps
31. This exquisite necklace will enchant any woman who loves nature. Its dainty butterflies, frog, and dragonfly mingle perfectly with shapes of rich jade, amber, lapis, turquoise, carnelia, river stone and more on a piece sure to fascinate all who see it. Artist and nature-lover Ronia Marie Krieg, whose work is sold in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art gift shop, created this necklace, set with sterling silver, just for LRWP. Donated by Ronia Marie Kreig
32. Home décor need a little spiffing up? Ready for a new look in your favorite nook? Decorator Sara Kruger will visit your home for an up-to-two-hour color consultation; then you’ll take this $50 gift certificate to Opal & Ruby’s Gift Emporium on Illinois Road to find just-right tastefully chosen accessories and more from the brands you love. Donated by Sara Kruger of SaraBella Designs and Opal & Ruby’s Gift Emporium
33. Who knew that vinegar and oil were the foundation for so many tasty creations? At this Olive Twist after-hours tasting party for up to 10 people, you’ll savor the distinct flavors of different olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world and appreciate merging the complexity of today's gourmet cuisine with the simplicity of old world tastes. Owner Lori Brandt will be your tour guide on this culinary journey. Donated by Olive Twist of Fort Wayne and Auburn
34. Experience a misty morning at Eagle Marsh with this glorious framed photo of herons, egrets, and other marsh birds in the golden glow of sunrise at our favorite preserve. You’ll want to hang this evocative photo taken by Brian Wood where you’ll experience its peace and joy every day. Donated by Brian Wood
35. Watch one of the biggest basketball rivalries in the Big Ten play out when Purdue’s Boilermakers face Indiana’s Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on February 20, 2016. These traditional in-state rivals have both fielded promising young teams, and this game looks to be a highlight. You’ll make your own predictions about future glory after watching from your two great mid-court seats (Section C, Row 37, seats 103 & 104). Donated by Dan and Beth Zweig
36. Two Big 10 powerhouse basketball teams go head to head and you’re there. The IU Hoosiers face one of their fiercest rivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes, at Assembly Hall on Sunday afternoon, January 10, 2016. Both teams are bolstered by highly-rated recruits this year and, with some seasoned veterans returning, IU may be ready to claim revenge against a squad that walloped it 82-70 last January. You'll witness the battle from mid-court with these two great tickets (Section C, Row 37, seats 103 & 104). Donated by Dan and Beth Zweig
37. Light up a room with this striking egret photo and candleholder. Sometimes the simplest image is the most beautiful, like this haunting photo of a lone great egret in front of marsh grasses at Eagle Marsh taken by master photographer Brian Wood. You’ll want to pair it with the lovely handmade glass candleholder, which echoes the yellow-gold of the photo’s tall grasses. Photo donated by Brian Wood, candleholder by Great Panes Glass Company
38. Always wanted to try riding a Segway? With this $60 gift certificate, you and a friend can “Segway” your chosen section of the 70-mile Fort Wayne Trails system, maybe even the part that goes by Eagle Marsh. You’ll learn to use a Segway, then enjoy a guided one-hour tour to mix the fun of Segway riding with the scenic beauty of the trails. (Apply toward a historic tour if you prefer.) Before or after your ride, enjoy lunch at Anastasia’s Cheer Baskets & Café with a $25 gift certificate. Segway trip donated by Tour Fort Wayne, lunch by Judy Nelsen
39. Claim this beautiful print of a sandhill crane for a special place in your home. Indiana artist Carrie Wild’s love of the outdoors shows in her paintings that depict nature in both realistic and fantastical ways. Sandhill cranes often visit LRWP preserves and the one in this lovely framed giclée (reproduction) limited edition print seems to be resting there now. Print donated by Carrie Wild, framing by Crestwoods Frame Shop and Gallery
40. Wine is an elixir for the soul, and your soul will savor these two award-winning local treasures: a semi-dry Traminette (2014 Indiana Wine of the Year) and a Chambourcin (2015 gold medal wine) from Tonne Winery in Muncie, voted 2014 Indiana Winery of the Year. These white and red beauties in a basket come with everything you need to enjoy them: two stemmed wine glasses, a corkscrew, bottle stoppers and best of all, a $25 gift certificate to buy more! Donated by Kevin and Mary Tonne of Tonne Winery
41. Enjoy these fabulous photos of marsh wildlife every day. Take home local wildlife photographer Brian Wood’s limited edition, autographed book of his astounding photos of wetland birds and other animals--many taken at Eagle Marsh--and put it where you can look at it often. Donated by Brian Wood
42. Stylish and savvy both! Your cinda b backpack and matching continental zip wallet are as practical as they are beautiful, and made in Fort Wayne. The easy-to-carry backpack is the perfect size for work, school or anywhere, with slip pockets for notebooks and folders and a zip pocket for smaller items. The zip wallet can be an accessory or carried on its own. Donated by cinda b
43. Everything you need for cocktail wizardry. Create your own one-of-a-kind concoctions with this bag of goodies for the aspiring mixologist. Begin with your own cocktail recipe book, acquire the makings for your favorites, and have all you need to proceed: a Mason jar shaker, all-in-one bar tool (corkscrew, jigger, ice hammer, and bottle opener), three whiskey stones (freeze, then put in drinks to keep them cold), and stainless steel flask. There’s even a collapsible travel cup for your next cocktail-enhanced camping trip or safari. Donated by Trove
44. Invite the birds to your party. Modernist artist Charley Harper called his style “minimal realism,” but we call it brilliant simplicity. This carafe and four glasses feature Harper’s beautiful stylized birds: a Blue Jay on the carafe and Song Sparrow, Black and White Warbler, Painted Bunting, and White-Breasted Nuthatch on the glasses. You can use the carafe as a decanter for wine, or as a pitcher for water or juice. Planning a patio party? Put the munchies in these three colorful bowls with plastic lids, and you’re set to go. Donated by Trove