Friends of the Environment (FRIENDS) held the first of their two annual Reef Balls on Feb 7 at the Abaco Inn. The gala event raises money for FRIENDS projects which includes environmental education and the new Frank Kenyon Research Centre. Both a silent and live auction were key fund raising cornerstones of the Reef Ball.
The sold out event started early evening. Guests arrived at the Abaco Inn and were greeted by FRIENDS staff and volunteers. Soon, everyone was mingling during the cocktail reception and browsing the unique silent auction items. As every year, a few of the items were hotly contested.
After dinner was served and the guests were welcomed the live auction was held. Auctioneer Michael Albury was able to squeeze as many dollars as laughs this year from the responsive crowd. Many items were sold above what the original donator could have hoped for, example being one of Belle Albury’s chocolate silk pies going for $475, and other items, such as lunch in the boat with Mr. Kenyon, being sold twice for the staggering sum of $9,000.
The Frank Kenyon Centre for Research, Education and Conservation is nearing completion and funds raised from the evening go towards its installation as well as the many educational opportunities FRIENDS provides for Abaco students. The Centre will house international researchers visiting Abaco and provide laboratory space for their studies.
After dinner and the close of the auctions, the band “Suppa Time” took the stage and got everybody grooving.
The next Reef Ball takes place February 28 at the Jib Room in Marsh Harbour.