We are thrilled to announce the winner of Winspire’s third Donation Give-Away drawing of 2018!
Congratulations goes to Katherine M., Director at Stonerose Interpretive Center & Eocene Fossil Site, or Stonerose Fossil, in Republic, Washington. Their mission is to connect the public, scientific, and the local communities through our fossil resource.
It’s our honor to be able to donate a $1,000 gift card to Mandarin Oriental Hotels & Resorts for their use in an upcoming fundraiser.
After the drawing, we reached out to Katherine to learn more about this important cause and their fundraising strategies year round.
Connecting the Public to Fossil History
Still pulling some great fossils out from Boot Hill.
Republic, Washington, a former mining and logging town in the north central part of the state, is home to a series of lake beds formed during the Eocene 49 million years ago.
Stonerose Interpretive Center, founded in 1989, provides display and interpretation of the fossil resource to the public, and outreach to many local schools and organizations.
“We maintain a research collection of 15,000 Eocene fossils, including plant remains, fish skeletons and scales, crayfish, insect body fossils and rare bird feathers,” Katherine explains. Together these fossils provide the basis for understanding the plant and animal world that occupied the Eocene, a critical time in the diversification of many modern plant and insect groups.
A Unique Hands-on Experience
Kid’s can look for a special type of gold Sunday, June 10th at Stonerose! Kid’s (up to age 18) dig for fossils FREE as…
As part of its mission to bring fossil history to life for the public, Stonerose has developed a system for actively managing one of the outcrops for public collecting. This provides a rare opportunity for the general public, from school children to citizen scientists, to discover the wonder and joy of scientific discovery.
“We are one of the very few fossil sites anywhere that allow the public to have a truly hands on experience at an extremely affordable admission price,” Katherine asserts.
How it works: Individuals are registered using Stonerose Strata, an in-house database. They are then instructed in how to collect fossils and assisted at the outcrop by Stonerose staff who oversee collecting and help to identify fossils. “Diggers” are allowed to take home up to three fossils that they find per day.
When unique or scientifically important fossils are found, they are donated to Stonerose for study by researchers. Donators are acknowledged by name in any scientific papers published about that fossil. Internationally known researchers study the Stonerose collections regularly and have contributed over 150 professional papers as a result of access to them.
Stonerose is pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the annual Geological Society of America conference, where we will connect, and re-connect in many cases, with scientists from all over the world.
Good representative collections from outcrops in and around Republic are also held by the National Museum of Natural History, (the Smithsonian), University of California Museum of Paleontology (Berkeley), the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Peabody Museum (Yale), and a more substantial collection at the Burke Museum (University of Washington).
Funding the Mission
“As the site plays out – we estimate the life span to last another 30 years – we will be working towards building a larger, more modern museum and interpretive center, as well as securing additional fossil sites for public access,” Katherine says.
For many years, Stonerose held a dressy Art & Collectible Auction. Wonderful teas and Sparkling Wine were accompanied by hors d’ oeuvres, and patrons opened their hearts and wallets making for a very fun event. In 2011, the resources and energy to hold the event waned; however, in 2016, the annual fundraiser was resurrected with a different venue and more casual vibe.
Some Auction Items 2018
Today, the event fundraising continues with Stonerose holding its 4th Annual “Party in the Park; Funding Fabulous Fossils!” next July. Giant party tents will be set up in the City Park across from the Center; local beer and wines are available, and hearty party fare is included in the ticket price.
They employ several different revenue streams at the event, relying heavily on unique experiential items in the live auction, priceless donations in the silent auction, and an urgent special appeal:
We have 8-10 Live Auction items that are mostly experiential; guided fishing and hunting trips, regional getaways, and painting lessons with a locally renowned artist are very popular. A tour of Blue Origins Headquarters with a real rocket scientist was hugely coveted this last year. Our silent auction has about 50 items, all donated by local artists, businesses, and Friends. Our raffle this year was a donated hand turned wooden bowl, made locally by a fine craftsman. Our Special Appeal raised money to give our Center a facelift of paint and carpet, which hasn’t been done since 1998.
As for their prize, a $1,000 gift card to Mandarin Oriental hotels and resorts, The Friends of Stonerose Board hopes to procure air miles to create a high-end travel experience.
It’s our privilege to be able to support this important cause. We hope the upcoming Party in the Park helps alleviate some of Stonerose’s greatest challenges, which Katherine says includes acquiring new donors, donor fatigue, board and volunteer fatigue and donor retention.
Be our next winner!
Many of you have similar stories. The need in your communities is only growing.
So, you might be wondering… what are we giving away next?
Next Prize: $1,000 Luxury Shopping Spree to Neiman Marcus & Nordstrom
Drawing Date: February 1, 2019
For the first drawing of 2019, we’re giving away two $500 gift cards – one to Neiman Marcus and one to Nordstrom – for a luxury shopping spree worth $1,000 total!
If you’re already a subscriber, increase your odds of winning by inviting colleagues to subscribe and enter at you.winspireme.com/give-away. Your organization could be our next winner!