It was fine dining among the dinosaurs at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Last Saturday the Cleveland Museum of Natural History Trout Club held their annual fund raising banquet of which the money raised goes into their fund to support fresh water conservation efforts. It was by all means an elegant affair and a great event to attend. The show-piece of the evening was a J.D. Wagner Handcrafted Bamboo Rod valued at over $3000.00 that was the prize in the reverse auction. Using a deck of playing cards with two jokers, each card was sold for fifty dollars. During the dinner each card was drawn until the final card left was declared the winner.
There was also a silent auction, a live auction (with Scott Mihalic doing a splendid job as auctioneer), a member’s only raffle (which included a Billy Pate Salmon Reel as one of the prizes), a general all attendees raffle, a blue card drawing and a white card drawing (that attendees could purchase books of tickets for the drawings). In all over 150 prizes were up for grabs that evening. Prizes included fly fishing gear of all descriptions, jewelry, knives, toys, fishing trips, guided trips, hotel rooms, theater tickets, sports tickets, trout club memberships, dinners, wines, sculptures, paintings, carvings, bird hunts and maple syrup. There was even a Red Rider BB rifle (eye protection included so you would not “shoot your eye out”). The evening was spent with attendees vying for the various prizes and a great time was had by all.
Let me also talk about the dinner. Goodness was it fantastic. It began with a spring green salad with a piece of garlic Texas toast. The second course was linguini with clams followed by the main course which consisted of a mound of seasoned mash potatoes with a medallion of beef plus a cheese encrusted flank steak. For dessert there was cheese cake with a variety of toppings available on the table. It was a dinner well worth it and one I will remember for a long time.
What really made the evening so enjoyable were the people present. Although I spent the time walking around taking photographs, I had a chance to talk to a number of trout club members. These are great folks to get to know who are very knowledgeable about trout fishing and what gear works best. Another bonus of the evening was a chance to tour the museum at ones leisure in between checking out all the raffle items.
As mentioned before, the Annual Banquet is the Trout Club’s primary fund raising event. Funds generated from the Banquet support local, regional and national projects that preserve and enhance our fisheries and natural environment. Your support is crucial to the Trout Club’s success.
The Club has donated over $275,000 to cold-water conservation, land preservation and other qualified projects. We support the Museum and other organizations that are consistent with our mission. Recently they provided support for the acquisition of 20 acres of land on the bank of the Grand River that added to the 55 acres already owned by Lake Metroparks to form Baker Road Park which opened to the public in October 2012.
Five years ago the Trout Club provided support to the Friends of the Crooked River in their efforts to clean up the Cuyahoga River and to the Cuyahoga River Planning Organization in their efforts to install fish habitat plants along the banks of the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland. Other important projects have included 11 educational grants to the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center Scholarship Fund, support for Casting for Recovery’s breast cancer fly fishing retreat and support for the restoration of Shady Brook stream at The Holden Arboretum.
The Trout Club also supports the Museum directly, having underwritten the $20,000 cost to bring an exhibit from the American Museum of Fly Fishing entitled “Humanity in Midstream” to Cleveland seven years ago. We underwrote the cost for the “Garlick” exhibit in 2005. Moreover, we also provide support to the Geauga County Park District, Lake County Metroparks, the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center, and many other causes.
Over the course of the year, the Trout Club holds a variety of events for its members as well as a monthly meeting on the third Wednesday of each month from October through April. These are held at the Cleveland Natural History Museum (1 Wade Oval Drive, Cleveland, Ohio) and start at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail hour. Membership is $30 per year ($40 per couple) in addition to a paid Cleveland Natural History Museum membership. For more information on how to become a member contact Karen Menn at (216) 231-4600, ext. 3278, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the CMNH Trout Club and their various activities go to: http://www.cmnh.org/site/GetInvolved/ClubsandSocieties/TroutClub.aspx