Director Dan Wyant of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was this year’s guest speaker at our 20th Annual Spring Banquet and Fundraiser. He laid out a brief history of the department and some of the current priorities, then opened the floor for a question and answer period that was well-received.
The Robert (Bob) Ball Award was created in 1996 to honor someone who has made a significant contribution to the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy’s purpose of protecting natural habitat and open space. The late Bob Ball was one of the founders of the CWC. He dedicated a large part of his life to promoting awareness and access to nature.
This year’s honoree was Carey Pauquette, Water Quality Specialist for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. In her position with the Tribe, Carey has been responsible for monitoring and reporting on the presence of E.coli in the Chippewa River, and for raising public awareness about the health issues associated with E. coli. She also put together all of the necessary documentation to make the Tribe eligible for Project 319 Clean Water funding and is currently working on securing funds for the implementation of best management practices to control or mitigate sedimentation and erosion issues within Tribal reservation boundaries. Carey has not only been a member of the Board of Directors of the CWC for the past two years, but she also serves on the Board of Directors of the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy in Bay City.
The typical wide array of silent auction items this year included a new feature, as many members of the board of directors and others contributed custom-created baskets for bid. And the auction portion of the evening was highlighted by a popular live auction of several items conducted by well-known local auctioneer Norm Yoder.
We are especially grateful to the group of individuals, families and businesses who responded to our 20 for $200 campaign, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the banquet. We asked for 20 Patrons to contribute $200 to help us cover a major portion of the banquet costs as sponsors, and 21 individuals and families plus six businesses answered the call. Here is a complete list of this year’s banquet sponsors. (Hyperlink).
With the help of our banquet Patrons and the generous guests and auction buyers, we received nearly $19,000.00 for land protection.