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 complete Lake Erie fishing weekend you’ll never forget. Bring home a cooler of walleye, yellow perch or smallmouth bass when you escape with up to five friends to Lake Erie for exceptional fishing with your own professional guide, sleeping nearby at a well-equipped camp and a fabulous dinner on Saturday night. More details TBA.
# 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 Who-o-o’s that? Party with owls, frogs, and other creatures of the night. Experience the sights and sounds of Eagle Marsh at night, starting with sunset over the marsh and a casual cookout around an open fire for up to 16 guests. More details TBA. 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
(More items still to come.)
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
20. 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
21. 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
22. 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
23. 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
24. 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
25. 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
Still to come:
Two powerhouse basketball teams go head to head, and you’ve got primo seats. The IU Hoosiers face one of their fiercest rivals, the Michigan Wolverines—details TBA. Donated by Dan and Beth Zweig
Go anywhere in style with this Vera Bradley ensemble. Details TBA. Donated by John and Carol Brooks
This unique necklace is artsy, earthy, and funky all at the same time. Details TBA. Donated by Ronia Marie Kreig
Watch the biggest basketball rivalry in the Big Ten play out: Purdue versus Indiana University. Details TBA. Donated by Dan and Beth Zweig