The atmosphere was summer party: More than 500 people dining on lobster under a seaside tent before taking to the floor for two hours of dancing to a live band. The beneficiary: The Lloyd Center for the Environment’s research, education and outreach programs.
The Center’s 31st annual clambake, held Friday, July 8 at Demarest Lloyd State Park, was billed as the “unofficial kick-off to the South Coast’s summer season.” It left those who run the 38-year-old environmental education center tired but pleased with the outpouring of financial support.
Executive Director Rachel Stronach said the final fundraising tallied $100,000 between the $175 plates and the silent auction items.
While ticket sales and corporate sponsorship account for much of the money raised, bidding was lively on 64 items in the silent auction. Those items ranged from jewelry and yoga lessons to Disney World passes, airline tickets and a stay at the Park Plaza in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
There were no speeches to interrupt the drinking, dining and dancing. But arrayed around the tent were video displays of children and adults participating in the environmental center’s dozens of programs. Center staff and volunteers were eager to talk about the cause the clambake supports—and about the Lloyd Center in general.
The center has a separate $3 million capital campaign aimed at raising $3 million for new construction and for programming at the new facilities.
Sporting a pink hard hat to match her dress, New Bedford architect Kathryn Duff spent much of Friday evening alongside a display describing the center’s building plans. She explained that Phase I, construction of a teaching pavilion, has been completed. Phase II will be construction of a new Welcome Center, and Phase III expansion and renovation of the current Visitor Center.
The Welcome Center, designed by Duff to meet tough American Institute for a Living Future environmental standards, will be the eleventh such building in the world – “a teaching tool” to introduce visitors to the concept of a building with a “net positive” impact on the environment. For more on the Lloyd Center, go to www.lloydcenter.org.