2016 Volunteer & Donor Recognition Dinner and Silent Auction

The Michigan Nature Association

cordially invites you to the:

2016 Volunteer & Donor Recognition Dinner
and Silent Auction

Friday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
Big Ten Room C (Lobby Level)
Michigan State University, East Lansing
219 South Harrison Road

Please join the Board of Trustees and staff for a night to honor dedicated volunteers and generous donors. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal and a chance to catch up with other MNA members and supporters.

Special Guest Speaker
Dr. John Hartig
Edward G. Voss Conservation Science Award recipient
John is the Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. He is a highly regarded Great Lakes scientist and author of Bringing Conservation to Cities.

Silent Auction
The dinner will feature a special silent auction to benefit MNA’s Environmental Fund!

RSVP by October 21
Contact Jess Foxen at (866) 223-2231 or email jfoxen@michigannature.org.

Tickets: $30 per person
Cash bar with dinner provided by MNA.

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MNA to recognize volunteers and conservationists at October 17 ceremony

By Kary Askew Garcia, MNA Intern

Don’t miss out on MNA’s annual Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner on Oct. 17 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.

Guests will enjoy a delicious meal, jazz music and the presentation of awards to hard-working, dedicated individuals who do so much to protect Michigan’s natural heritage.

Tickets are $30. You can purchase tickets online through the MNA website or by contacting Danielle Cooke at dcooke@michigannature.org or 866-223-2231.

The following awards will be presented during the celebration:

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Bid on Items to Benefit Conservation

Bid on a VIP wine tasting at Chateau Chantal! (Photo via Chateau Chantal)

Bid on a VIP wine tasting at Chateau Chantal! (Photo via Chateau Chantal)

On Friday, October 18, MNA will host the Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.

This year’s event includes a special silent auction to benefit MNA’s conservation initiatives! Join us to learn about MNA’s efforts, honor special volunteers, and mingle with fellow MNA supporters.

Silent auction items include:

Week-Long Getaway in Northern Michigan

Enjoy a week on Mullet Lake in northern Michigan in a vacation home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a field stone fireplace, ping-pong room, deck and dock. This house sleeps up to 10 people and is a beautiful retreat!

VIP Wine Tasting Experience for Six People

Enjoy a personal tour of the Chateau Chantal winery, an explanation of the winemaking process, and a personal wine tasting with a wine educator. See stunning views of the Old Mission Peninsula and explore the Old World Inn!

Bid on a sea kayak tour in Copper Harbor!  Photo: Ryan Holt

Bid on a sea kayak tour in Copper Harbor! (Photo: Ryan Holt)

Copper Harbor Sea Kayak Tour 

Explore Copper Harbor by kayak! This package includes two tickets for a two-and-a-half hour kayak exploration on Lake Superior, surrounding Copper Harbor. The tour includes kayak instruction, all equipment, and a professional guide.

Great Lakes Stone Shoreline Mirror

Artist Casey Williams uses stone he personally collects from Michigan’s Great Lakes to create beautiful functional stone products. Surrounded by stone from the Great Lakes, this mirror would make a beautiful addition to any room!

‘Ruin and Recovery’ Signed by Award-Winning Author Dave Dempsey

This copy of Ruin and Recovery: Michigan’s Rise as a Conservation Leader is signed by author Dave Dempsey, named Michigan Author of the Year in 2009.

Enamel on Copper Nature Sculptures

These beautiful sculptures are original designs, hand enameled by highly skilled artisans using traditional tools and techniques. This set of two sculptures is a unique interpretation of nature’s beauty.

Download the Auction Preview Guide for a complete list of available items! 

Purchase your tickets for the Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner today! Visit the MNA website or contact Danielle Cooke at 866-223-2231 or dcooke@michigannature.org. Seating is limited, so reserve your spot soon!

Richard W. Holzman Award Recipients Announced

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEarlier this week, MNA announced the recipients of the Volunteer of the Year and Mason and Melvin Schafer Distinguished Service Award. At the 2013 Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner, MNA will also present the Richard W. Holzman Award.

The Richard W. Holzman Award was established in 2010 to recognize and thank volunteers who have selflessly served MNA over an extended period of time, typically in a variety of roles including service as a Trustee. Holzman Award recipients are selected by the President after consultation with the Board of Trustees and senior staff.

The award is named for Richard W. “Dick” Holzman, who served 14  years as MNA President, longer than any other President, and 20 years as an MNA Director or Trustee.

MNA announced last week that this year’s Holzman Award will be given to Stephen M. Kelley and Stanley Hugh Kuchta at the 2013 Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner.

Kelley has been an MNA member and supporter since 1979. He has held multiple leadership positions, including four years as President and more than eight years on the Board. In addition to his work with MNA, Kelley is a practicing environmental, contract and litigation attorney.

Kuchta is a field scientist and plant specialist with the Michigan Department of Agriculture. His insights have assisted MNA greatly with the identification and protection of threatened flora and fauna in MNA sanctuaries. Kuchta has been active in MNA for many years and currently chairs the Sanctuary Committee. He also serves as a steward.

Join MNA on Friday, October 18 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center to recognize the individuals who dedicate so much to help protect Michigan’s natural heritage. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and will also feature a silent auction to benefit MNA’s conservation initiatives. All are welcome!

To purchase $30 tickets, contact Danielle Cooke at (866) 223-2231 or dcooke@michigannature.org. Tickets are also available on the MNA website.

MNA to honor outstanding volunteers at Volunteer & Donor Recognition Dinner

A festive group at a past Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner.

A festive group at a past Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner.

By Sally Zimmerman, MNA Intern

Join the Michigan Nature Association for a night of good food and great fellowship as we honor those who have given their time and effort through the years to help conserve the natural beauty of Michigan. MNA is holding the 2013 Volunteer & Donor Recognition Dinner on October 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. MNA will present several awards, including the Volunteer of the Year Award and the Mason and Melvin Schafer Distinguished Service Award at the event.

The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to volunteers who devote many hours to MNA by attending workdays, completing file analysis, monitoring sanctuaries and volunteering in less than ideal weather conditions. This year’s Volunteer of the Year Award recipients are Bill McEachern, Barbara Mead, Mike Roys and Peter and Jill Pietila.

Charlie Eshbach, winner of this year's Mason and Melvin Schafer Distinguished Service Award

Charlie Eshbach, winner of this year’s Mason and Melvin Schafer Distinguished Service Award

The Mason and Melvin Schafer Distinguished Service Award is given to exemplary volunteers who have contributed to MNA over a minimum of 10 years. This year, the award is being given to Charles Eshbach for his service and dedication to preserving nature sanctuaries over the past 40 years.

Along with honoring these extraordinary volunteers, the event will also feature a silent auction that will benefit MNA’s conservation actions. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on big-ticket items, such as a sea kayak tour for two people and a weeklong stay at a cottage up north.

Everyone is welcome to attend the dinner. Tickets are $30, and can be purchased by calling (866) 223-2231, or emailing dcooke@michigannature.org. The deadline to RSVP is October 11. Reserve your seat today to be part of this special event!

MNA Award Recognizes Excellence in Conservation Science

Dr. Reznicek with MNA Executive Director Garret Johnson

Dr. Reznicek with MNA Executive Director Garret Johnson

The Edward G. Voss Conservation Science Award recognizes those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the scientific understanding of Michigan’s biological diversity and its conservation. Dr. Edward G. Voss was an internationally renowned scientist, dedicated educator, and committed conservationist who spent his lifetime working to protect Michigan’s natural heritage.

At this year’s Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner, MNA was pleased to recognize both Dr. Ed Voss and Dr. Tony Reznicek for their outstanding contributions:

Edward G. Voss

After a lifetime of contributions to science and conservation, long-time MNA supporter and celebrated botanist Dr. Edward G. Voss passed away earlier this year. One of his crowning achievements was his groundbreaking three-volume Michigan Flora. The first volume was published in 1972, and when the third and last volume was issued in 1996 Dr. Voss expressed his hope that he and his long-time colleague (and fellow MNA member) Dr. Anton Reznicek would complete an updated, compact one-volume version. Poignantly, the revised version he envisioned, the new Field Manual of Michigan Flora, was released three days after Dr. Voss’s death.

Dr. Voss was professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan and curator emeritus of vascular plants at the University Herbarium. His primary area of expertise was the vascular plants of the Great Lakes region, including their taxonomy, identification, distribution, history and current status. He was the founding editor of The Michigan Botanist and an internationally recognized expert in botanical nomenclature. He taught at the University of Michigan Biological Station for 35 summer sessions and in addition to his work with MNA, Dr. Voss was an active member of the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, the Little Traverse Conservancy, and the Wilderness Society.

Anton Reznicek

Dr. Anton (Tony) Reznicek is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan and curator of vascular plants at the University of Michigan Herbarium. Dr. Reznicek is an internationally recognized expert on the genus Carex (commonly known as sedges). In 2006, a species of sedge new to science was discovered in New York’s Hudson Highlands area and named Carex reznicekii (Reznicek’s Sedge) in his honor.

Dr. Reznicek’s numerous contributions to conservation and botanical education make him a respected authority on endangered species and plant ecological issues. After MNA protected the only known population of lakeside daisy existing in Michigan, Dr. Reznicek was instrumental in helping MNA establish a second viable population by studying seeds, providing advice and assisting with germination. He has served on the Michigan technical advisory committee on threatened and endangered species, the board of trustees for the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and in various capacities with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the state Forest Service and the National Forest Service. With Dr. Voss, he co-authored the Field Manual of Michigan Flora, published earlier this year, and helped establish a Michigan Flora website hosted by the University of Michigan Herbarium where researchers, field biologists and conservationists can exchange up-to-date information about the identification and status of Michigan species.

At the Recognition Dinner, Dr. Reznicek delighted the crowd with stories of his late colleague, Dr. Voss, and shared more information about the Michigan Flora website and field manual. We were thrilled that Dr. Reznicek was able to join us as we celebrated his achievements and the achievements of Dr. Voss.

For information about the other individuals who were honored at the Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner on October 26, see MNA’s previous blog post.

MNA Honors Donors and Volunteers at Friday’s Recognition Dinner

On Friday, October 26, nearly 100 MNA supporters gathered at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing for the 2012 Volunteer and Donor Recognition Dinner. The atmosphere was festive as Trustees, staff, donors and volunteers shared stories and memories.

MNA was pleased to recognize the following individuals for their contributions to MNA:

Youth Volunteer of the Year

Christopher Keller

Volunteering is a family affair for Christopher Keller. His great-uncle, Charlie Goodrich, was a 2010 recipient of MNA’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Youthful Chris and experienced Charlie made a good team as they pulled garlic mustard from the woods of Hamilton Township Coastal Plain Marsh, built and maintained a trail system at Barvicks Sand Dunes, and tended  to the reforestation of old fields at Dowagiac Woods. Despite his youth, Chris has learned well the lesson that volunteer service is the lifeblood of a successful community.

Volunteers of the Year

Paul Messing

Over the past two years, Paul has participated in many volunteer days across the state, most notably spearheading a bridge project at Kernan Memorial Nature Sanctuary. In addition to his work as a steward at Lost Lake Nature Sanctuary and Frinks Pond Plant Preserve, Paul has done a large amount of work for Wilcox-Warnes Nature Sanctuary, visiting frequently to clear the trail, pick up trash and interact with visitors. As an emissary, he also leads hikes and distributes MNA information in the local community.

Mary Powell

Mary serves as the steward for five eastern Upper Peninsula sanctuaries, including MNA’s largest property – the 837-acre Schafer Family Nature Sanctuary at Roach Point. Mary has painstakingly marked each sanctuary’s boundaries accurately, and drives all the way up from her home in Flint to participate in every field trip and volunteer day at each property. Her hard work has been a huge asset to MNA.

Carolyn Reed

Working alongside 2009 Volunteer of the Year Ruth Vail, Carolyn has been an essential member of MNA’s file review team. Over the past few years, Carolyn has helped with some of MNA’s stickiest legal files, tracking down information to make the review process much more complete. Carolyn’s dedication is key to keeping MNA on track to apply for accreditation in 2013.

Clifford Welsch

Cliff serves as the steward at MNA’s Prairie Ronde Savanna and Sauk Indian Trail Plant Preserves, both in St. Joseph County. He organizes and leads numerous volunteer days at each sanctuary and has conducted controlled burns on his own for several years. Cliff’s work at these sanctuaries has been invaluable.

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