Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pepperwood Anniversary Sunset Celebration a Huge Success

Wow! Do we ever live in an amazing community. Words cannot express how grateful we are to everyone who attended our Anniversary Sunset Celebration and made such generous contributions to help launch us into our second decade! On October 3rd, a sold-out crowd of nearly 200 community members gathered to celebrate Pepperwood's growth and accomplishments. 

Pepperwood's Anniversary Sunset Celebration held in the Dwight Center courtyard,
photo by Gary Hundt.
Attendees were treated to a transformational musical performance led by Nolan Gasser that did nothing short of elevate the entire outdoor evening to a whole new plane. There was great food and wine, compelling presentations from staff and partners, an honoring of Pepperwood's founders, Herb and Jane Dwight, and a Fund-a-Need auction drawing in our guests. The outcome exceeded our wildest expectations when our Fund-a-Need alone raised $250,000! 

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Below are photos from the event and some of the feedback we received from event attendees.

Pepperwood Development Director Julie Bartice addresses the crowd,
photo by Gary Hundt.

From my perspective and from the guest point of view - everything was perfect. The Dwight Center looked amazing, the staff and volunteers were coordinated, organized and professional. The food looked amazing, the entertainment was fabulous and the people were beyond generous with their gifts to Pepperwood. 
- Abra Annes, Professional Auctioneer

What an amazing event and evening.  Thank you and congratulations to you and all the board and staff that contributed to making is such a special celebration full of music, fine food, excellent speeches, and fundraising. I can't think of a better way to have commemorated Pepperwood's 10th anniversary and with such a great tribute to you, Herb and Jane... I have the opportunity to attend many evening events, and last night's was my favorite in years--truly a stand-out and reminder of how lucky we are here in Sonoma County to be surrounded by such beauty, community, and generosity.
-  Elizabeth Brown, President and CEO, Community Foundation Sonoma County

Pepperwood President & CEO Dr. Lisa Micheli gives a presentation on Pepperwood's past accomplishments and current research,
photo by Gary Hundt.

Julie Bartice looks on as auctioneer Aubra Annes takes the floor,
photo by Steve Ruddy.

Congratulations on hosting a very successful Pepperwood event celebrating a decade of vision and capital accomplishment. It was a first class affair. [Development Director Julie Bartice's] speech was the second bravest thing I have ever witnessed. You should be very proud to have done such an excellent job with your personal story that spoke to a higher planetary need, and a program vision at Pepperwood. The "funds a need" carried that emotion and enthusiasm and it was a powerful part of the evening.
- Edward Wallis

Musicians perform a piece from Phantom of the Opera, 
photo by Gary Hundt.

Pepperwood Preserve is a beautiful place with some amazing caretakers like yourself doing remarkable work.  The evening and event was perfect and I am grateful to have been a guest. 
- Roni Brown, Vice President and Marketing Director, 
Summit State Bank 

Toni McWilliams of Jackson Family Wines
with Pepperwood co-founder, Herb Dwight, 

photo by Steve Ruddy.

You did such a spectacular job on the event!  ...All of us at the JFW table had a really wonderful evening.  
- Toni Kay McWilliams, Director of Operations, Jackson Family Wines

There’s more to Pepperwood than meets the eye... safeguarding the future of our land and wildlife through the kind of education that excites and inspires... I was moved to witness the testimonials, dedication and support of all those connected to this wonderful gift to our County.
- Suzi Redlich, Executive Assistant, Jackson Family Wines

Auctioneer Aubra Annes hosts Pepperwood's Fund-a-Need,
photo by Gary Hundt.

The Pepperwood Anniversary party was most likely one of the best Sonoma County events of the year. We have this jewel of a property here in our own backyard and the Pepperwood team put together a 1st class dinner with exceptional music by Nolan Gasser in one magical venue. I was not surprised it was sold out months in advance. 
- John Meislahn, Vice President and Sales and Business Development Manager, Exchange Bank 

The sun begins to set on the Dwight Center for Conservation Science, photo by Gary Hundt.
Special thanks to all the Pepperwood volunteers who made this event possible, and to Gary Hundt for volunteering his time to take some of the great photos above!

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