The annual Fall Gala held in Charlotte, North Carolina, traditionally hosts around 225 supporters for a night of fine dining, stories, and a serious focus on conservation. Like other DU chapters in 2020, the Charlotte DU committee had to change plans several times leading up to the event as they dealt with unique challenges and interruptions. Despite the difficult circumstances, the committee members exhibited tremendous resolve and commitment to the cause by hosting a modest gathering with an objective of raising funds necessary to conserve one square mile of wetlands while keeping DU staff and supporters safe.
Planning for the event gained steam as Derick Close, Hunter Edwards, and Jubal Early generously stepped up to underwrite all expenses associated with the event. Due to restrictions on gatherings and recommendations from the CDC, attendance was capped at 40, but support poured in both from those who were physically present as well as from many others who were not. Major contributions from Alex Blair and Ken Gill proved to be highlights of the evening as the two chose to offer matching commitments. In total, eight individuals made President’s Council gifts during the gala, including Andrew Hubbard, Art Fields, and Brent Beason, and more than $79,000 was raised after DU President Doug Schoenrock’s remarks.
While uncertainty and anxiety were prevailing emotions leading up to the event, it became quite clear that the committee would achieve its stated goal as the evening progressed. Once the proceeds were totaled, the Charlotte Chapter was able to remit enough philanthropic revenue to conserve 800 acres of wetland habitat, well over the goal for 2020. The committee and staff involved wish to thank all the generous DU supporters who made this unconventional evening an incredible success.