The Alabama Wildlife Center held its 10th annual Wild About Chocolate fundraiser on Feb. 15 at the Harbert Center in Birmingham.
Anna Morris, AWC board member, and Keith Feinman, AWC board chairman, co-chaired the event.
Guests enjoyed savory appetizers, scrumptious chocolate desserts and complimentary wine, beer, soft drinks and coffee donated by local restaurants, caterers, bakeries and beverage distributors, including Avo, Dram, Jackson’s Bar & Bistro, Ashley Mac’s, Primeaux Cheese and Vino, Dixie Fish Company, Royal Cup Coffee, Catering by LaNetta, Good People Brewing Company, Savoie Catering, Max’s Delicatessen, International Wines, The Heavenly Donut Company, Southeastern Foodservice Management, The Gingerbread Lady, The Pita Hut, Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and Friends of the Alabama Wildlife Center.
Valentine-themed decorations were provided by Ellen Morris, and classical music was played by Bonnie Furuto and Marsha Gunter. The Birmingham Bombshells also assisted with the program.
Kaitlin McCulley of CBS 42 served as emcee for the evening.
The highlight of this year’s program was the introduction and naming of the Alabama Wildlife Center’s new education ambassador, Arthur, a rehabilitated merlin. This beautiful member of the falcon family was rescued and rehabilitated by the center in 2013.
The severity of Arthur’s wing injury prevents his release back into the wild, so he will serve as an avian ambassador playing a key role in the Center’s education and outreach programs.
The Alabama Wildlife Center conducted a social media campaign soliciting suggested names for Arthur, and after much input from supporters and friends, he was introduced with his new moniker at Wild About Chocolate. Pictures of Arthur are on the AWC Facebook page and website at HYPERLINK “http://www.awrc.org” www.awrc.org.
A silent auction chaired by Junior Board Vice President Katherine Klyce offered a wide variety of items, including jewelry, original artwork, gift certificates to restaurants and shops and spa packages.
Van Pearson led an animated live auction featuring a range of items from African safari adventures and beach vacations to casino gaming parties and the opportunity to release a rehabilitated AWC patient back into the wild.
All proceeds from the event benefit the nonprofit Alabama Wildlife Center.
Among those attending were Ann Piper, Dick and Dana Pigford, Dr. Ed and Sandra Jean Murray, Wylie and Tammy Williams, Dr. Alvin and Jill Atlas, Gary and Ann Palmer, Judith Moor, Rachelle Cather, Leslie Culver, Sammy and Laura Howell, Betsy Rogers, Dr. Jamie and Karen Bellah, Anna Morris, Scott Shinbaum, Larry and Carol Myers, Keith Feinman, Tine Hoffmeister, Richard and Kellie Esposito, Scott Mauldin, Cora Bowen, Carl and Linda Miller, Michael and Laura Player, Dylan Player, John and Virginia Hillhouse, Ryan and Kim Allen, Cole Allen, Monte and Deborah Barth, Steven and Lauren Stastny, Bill and Gaylyn Ballard, Russell and Gina Hinson, John and Ellen Morris, Travis and Brittany Ramey, Dr. David and Cory Friddle, Larry and Becky King and Dr. Jennifer Wallach.
Others enjoying the Wild About Chocolate fundraiser were Ashleigh Timmerman, Steve and Zora Merchant, Hugh Mallette, Kit Law, Curt and Liz Rozzelle, Tom and Jan Stewart, Robert and Gina Lowe, Bill and Susan Failor, Dan and Tammy Campbell, Bill and Veronica Payer, Mitchell and Marilyn DeLoach, Ken and D.J. Boyd, John and Tina Roberts, Roger and Dr. Dominika Steakley, Richard and Deborah Thompson, Devin and Helen Dolive, Jim Taylor, Teresa Moran, Joe and Jenny Walker, Jeff and Tammy Harris, Brent and Lisa Warren, Randy and Cleo Kathryn Gorman and Austin and Randi Chapman.
Also spotted at the February event were Jason and Ashley Lybrand, Leslie Cox, David and Sherrie Pitre, Robert and Sherry White, Brandon Glover, Elizabeth Huffman, David Stubbs, Nancy Prater, Jonathan and Kristin Landham, Bill and Jan Bellows, Mary Stockard, Noah Stockard, Emily Stephens, Chris Stockard, Mathew Stockard, Linda Neighbors, Zane Rhoades, Robert Raiford, Joseph R. John III, Barbara W. Shepherd, Shon Jackson, Mike and Suzanne McDevitt, Nick and Carol Deal, Eddie and Georgia Claridy, Blair Goodgame, , Cindy Goodgame, Leslie Childs, Charlie Burke, Ladonna Idell, David and Pam Allen, Clay and Patti Burchfield, Nat Lovoy, Melinda Fagin, Tracy Turley, Sharon Posey, Kelly Breland, Jay Eubanks and Doug and Nina Adair.