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Conservation Dinner

Conservation Dinner

Be part of a community success story! Support the Conservation Dinner gala charity auction and help support projects in local watershed communities.

The Ausable Bayfield community celebrates more than three decades of generous support of conservation projects in local communities through the Conservation Dinner gala auction.

The 31st Conservation Dinner takes place on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at South Huron Recreation Centre, 94 Victoria Street East, Exeter, Ontario.

The Conservation Dinner Committee volunteers work together all year for this charitable fundraiser hosted by the Exeter Lions Club, the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, and local watershed communities.

The 2020 Dinner promises to be spectacular as we tip our hats to the generous donors, sponsors, patrons and guests, artists and volunteers.

Download the 2020 Programme: Conservation Dinner Programme (Pending)

Tickets are $85 each. Ticket purchasers receive a charitable receipt for income tax purposes for a portion of the ticket price.

Celebrities from the world of business, entertainment, sports, journalism, and science have served as emcees and special guests and some of the area’s finest artists – in media such as metal, ice and wood sculpture, fine art, and culinary arts – have been featured at the auction and dinner event.

Phone 519-235-2610 or 1-888-286-2610 or email Publicity Committee for tickets or to find out how to donate to this worthwhile cause. Tickets sell out early so phone early. To learn more visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation website.

In more than 30 years of fundraising dinners, this charitable event has raised more than $1.2 million for community parks, accessible trails and conservation areas, recreation and education and job experience opportunities for young people, nature areas and commemorative woods, and other conservation projects, in local communities, by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and the Exeter Lions Club.

The 31st Conservation Dinner takes place on April 16, 2020 at South Huron Recreation Centre at 94 Victoria Street East in Exeter. Tickets are $85 each. Patrons receive a charitable gift receipt, for income tax purposes, for a portion of that amount. Net profits are split evenly between community conservation projects of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and community conservation projects of Exeter Lions Club. This charity event supports projects in local communities. 

Supporting projects in local communities

Local projects supported by the Conservation Dinner include parks and conservation areas; accessible nature trails in Bayfield, Clinton, Parkhill, Lucan, Arkona, Exeter, and Varna; busing for students to experience outdoor nature education programs; a $1,000 student environmental bursary benefitting students in local communities; a summer job at Ausable Bayfield Conservation for a senior secondary school student; turtle monitoring and events in Port Franks and Ailsa Craig; aquatic habitat studies in Old Ausable Channel at Grand Bend; and other projects such as nature day camps, Owl Prowl; and a popular, family-friendly fishing derby offering recreation and nature appreciation for youth.

The Conservation Dinner has raised more than $1.2 million over more than three decades thanks to donors, attendees, volunteers, and artists. The annual charitable event features live and silent auctions of art and other distinctive items including travel packages and sports and entertainment memorabilia. The Dinner includes special raffles, general raffles, appetizers, wine tasting, fun and fellowship, and a wonderful meal.

The Conservation Dinner Committee thanks all the creative people who have been feature artists over the years in media ranging from paintings to ice sculptures to metal art to culinary arts to other creative disciplines. You may find out more at abca.ca and conservationdinner.com

Contact Us

For further information on the Online Auction or the Conservation Dinner phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

Lions Club of Exeter, Ontario - Proud Partners of the Conservation Dinner Committee

The Exeter Lions Club, chartered in 1937, is part of the world’s largest and most active service organization. Lions International is a group of service-minded men and women banded together to do things which cannot be done by individuals working alone.

The Exeter Lions Club is pleased to partner with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, along with community donors, patrons and guests, artists and volunteers, to present this wonderful gala charitable dinner and accompanying live auction, silent auction, special raffles , general raffles, and more.

We are proud to be part of a volunteer Conservation Dinner Committee that has raised more than 1.2 million dollars for community improvements such as accessible trails, nature recreation and education, conservation areas and parks; commemorative woods; and more, in local communities.

The club’s involvement in fundraising for the continuing development and maintenance of the South Huron Trail, and the MacNaughton Park, are examples of service in action.

Working with additional partners, Lions Club members have seen their dream of a recreational and educational trail come to fruition with the MacNaughton-Morrison Section of the South Huron Trail.

These and other achievements make our purpose and efforts worthwhile and rewarding for all.

Thanks to everyone for your support.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation - Supporting Accessible Trails, Conservation Education, Commemorative Woods and More

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) is an organization whose purpose is to raise funds for conservation, reservation and protection of the unique natural landscapes of the Ausable River, Bayfield River; and Parkhill Creek watersheds.

Its activities include financial support for projects including the MacNaughton-Morrison and Morrison Dam Sections of the South Huron Trail, water quality projects including assistance to small local groups wishing to plant dune grass along lakefronts or buffer strips along drains and more.

The Foundation supports accessible trails, fishing docks and lookout platforms within the watershed area as well as Commemorative Woods and Conservation Education.

The Foundation raises money through direct donations from supporters like you and through special events such as the very successful Conservation Dinner – jointly sponsored with the Exeter Lions Club.

As a registered charity, the ABCF offers charitable gift receipts for tax purposes to  donors supporting its many worthwhile causes. The Foundation strongly supports educational projects within and outside of schools – to promote an environmental ethos in the young people of today – and tomorrow.

For information on how to ‘Leave a Local Legacy’ – contact Judith Parker at 519-235-2610 or toll-free at 1-888-286-2610.

For more information visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation website.

Chairs of the Conservation Dinner

The Conservation Dinner of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and Exeter Lions Club has been very honoured to have dedicated chairpersons over the 30-year history of the charitable fundraising auction:

  • 2019 – Jim Beckett and Larry Taylor – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2018 – Jim Beckett and Larry Taylor – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2017 – Mary Ryan-Allen and Janet Clarke – Community Representatives
  • 2016 – Paul Anstett – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2015 – Paul Anstett – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2014 – Janet Clarke – Community Representative
  • 2013 – Bob Laye – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2012 – Bob Radtke – Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation
  • 2011 – Bob Gehan – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2010 – Teresa Ondrejicka – Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation
  • 2009 – Bob Gehan – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2008 – Bob Gehan – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2007 – Ernie Miatello – Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF)
  • 2006 – Ernie Miatello – ABCF
  • 2005 – Rob Reid – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2004 – Teresa Ondrejicka – Community Representative
  • 2003 – Gord Strang – ABCF
  • 2002 – George Godbolt – Exeter Lions Club
  • 2001 – Dave McClure – ABCF
  • 2000 – George Godbolt – Exeter Lions Club
  • 1999 – Tom Tomes – ABCF
  • 1998 – George Godbolt – Exeter Lions Club
  • 1997 – Fred Dobbs – ABCF
  • 1996 – George Godbolt – Exeter Lions Club
  • 1995 – Cathy Pfaff – ABCF
  • 1994 – Peter Raymond – Exeter Lions Club
  • 1993 – Sharon Romphf – ABCF
  • 1992 – Tom Hartai / Mac MacDougall – Exeter Lions Club
  • 1991 – Carolyn Bradford – ABCF
  • 1990 – Charles Corbett – ABCF (with Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters OFAH)
Special Guests

The Conservation Dinner gala charitable auction fundraiser has been pleased to welcome special guests and emcees over the years.

The Conservation Dinner Committee has elected not to name a formal ‘special guest’ or ‘emcee’ in recent years but the committee did select a Master of Ceremonies and/or special guest many of the years of the Dinner.

They included:

  • 2015 – Bob Tanner, Lions Club Multiple District A Council Chair
  • 2014 – Charles Corbett (Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation) and John Norris (Exeter Lions Club), Honourary Chairs
  • 2013 – Peter Smith, Acting Artistic Director, Blyth Festival
  • 2012 – Doug Brooks, CEO of Certified General Accountants of Ontario
  • 2011 – Terry O’Rourke, parent of a modern-day Canadian veteran
  • 2010 – Kristylee Varley, radio broadcaster and volunteer with Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan
  • 2009 – John A. MacNaughton, Canadian business leader and Order of Canada recipient
  • 2008 – Scott Miller, Television broadcaster
  • 2007 – John Davidson, Founder of Jesse’s Journey
  • 2006 – Randy Tieman, CTV sportscaster
  • 2005 – Nick Paparella, Television journalist
  • 2004 – Kate Young, Former television anchor
  • 2003 – Stephanie Mandziuk, Print and broadcast journalist
  • 2002 – Bill Brady, Radio host and newspaper columnist
  • 2001 – Suzy Burge, TV weather forecaster
  • 2000 – Gordon Cudmore, London lawyer
  • 1999 – Hugh Filson, Auctioneer
  • 1998 – Jack Riddell, Former Ontario Minister of Agriculture
  • 1997 – Peter Garland, Radio host
  • 1996 – Jay Campbell, Television broadcaster and meteorologist
  • 1995 – Cliff Maxwell, St. Thomas businessperson and musician
  • 1994 – Jay Campbell, Television broadcaster and meteorologist
  • 1993 – Bob Heywood, Auctioneer
  • 1992 – Jack Riddell, Former Ontario Minister of Agriculture
  • 1991 – Bruce Murray, humourist
  • 1990 – Bill Lanouette, of Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

The charity gala dinner and auction has featured more than 20 special guests (emcees/hosts) since it began in 1990.

Feature Artists

The Conservation Dinner gala charitable auction, in support of community projects in local watershed communities, by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and Exeter Lions Club, has been pleased to feature a noted artist each year in media ranging from hand-crafted woodwork, to metal, to ice, to culinary arts, to painting and other visual arts.

Distinguished featured artists in the history of the Conservation Dinner have included:

  • 2019 – Former Feature Artists welcomed to return for special 30th Conservation Dinner
  • 2018 – David Loerchner, D. L. Creations, Bayfield – Hand-crafted wooden table
  • 2017 – Iceculture Inc. of Hensall – Ice Wall Sculpture Display and Feature Package with guided tour; hands-on ice carving for 25; Six-Foot Ice Bar; entrance for 15 to Chill Ice House in Toronto
  • 2016 – Jim Dawe, Murals in Metal – Flying Geese Sculpture
  • 2015 – James Eddington – Culinary Feature Artist – A Watershed Culinary Experience
  • 2014 – Tammy Laye – Mallards at Morrison
  • 2013 – Madeleine Roske – Between Seasons
  • 2012 – Martin Zimmer – Morning on the River
  • 2011 – Catherine Weber – Morrison Trail
  • 2010 – Fran Roelands – Along the Banks of Mud Creek
  • 2009 – Bill Nieuwland – My Back Yard
  • 2008 – David Bannister – Morning, Ausable
  • 2007 – Tim Clark – Mystery Path of the Ausable
  • 2006 – Teresa Marie – Big Red
  • 2005 – Rae Ann Ladouceur – Water Wall
  • 2004 – Elisabeth Tonner-Keats – Radiant Beginning
  • 2003 – Randy Jones – Nature’s Tapestry
  • 2002 – Fred Negrijn – Carving- Silent Vigil
  • 2001 – Ken Jackson – Artist’s Perspective
  • 2000 – Kent Wilkens – Evening Glory
  • 1999 – Barry Richman – Silent Passage
  • 1998 – Flora Doerr – One More on the Ausable
  • 1997 – Tim Clark – Huron Summer Past
  • 1996 – Peter Etril Snyder – Sharing
  • 1995 – Tammy Laye – Bannockburn Bridge
  • 1994 – Tammy Laye – Nature’s Harvest
  • 1993 – Tammy Laye – Wetland Steward
  • 1992 – Tammy Laye – Watershed Scene
  • 1991 – Tammy Laye – Fisher in Flight
  • 1990 – Tammy Laye – The Cedar Waxwing
Newsletter

Subscribe to the Conservation Dinner newsletter:

How can you help?

Each year the Dinner Committee collects more than 250 donations from generous local businesses and individual donors.

The gala dinner and auction sells out almost every year, attracting 400 patrons.

We invite you to be a donor, volunteer, artist, or guest.

The Conservation Dinner has been a success in supporting local projects throughout communities of the Ausable Bayfield watersheds in an area stretching from Port Franks, Thedford, and Arkona and area in the south; to Clinton, Bayfield, and Seaforth and area in the north; and all the communities in between.

Donors, patrons and guests, local businesses, artists, and volunteers have helped this charitable event raise more than $1.2 million in net proceeds over the past 30 years, since 1990, for community projects. 

Net proceeds are split evenly between the Exeter Lions Club and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation to support parks and recreation; nature education; accessible trails; youth programs including bursary awards and job opportunities; and other local community conservation projects.

The Conservation Dinner began in 1990. The Exeter Lions Club and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation have been joint partners on the event since 1991 and net proceeds are split evenly between community conservation projects of the Foundation and the Exeter Lions Club. 

Past Conservation Dinners have supported building and maintaining accessible trails at Morrison Dam, Rock Glen and Bannockburn conservation areas, construction of a viewing platform, boat launch, fishing dock, parking lot, and support for outdoor conservaton education programs throughout the watershed.

Donate or buy tickets

Contact us for tickets or to become a donor and/or patron by phoning 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or e-mail us through our contact form or or write to ABCF, 71108 Morrison Line, RR 3 Exeter, ON N0M 1S5. 

Dinner Programme

Online Auction

To support these community projects by bidding online now, visit this link:

For more information on the Conservation Dinner visit conservationdinner.com or abca.ca.

News and Events

Click on the News and Events Link for news item about the Conservation Dinner.

A partnership

The committee chairmanship rotates each year between Exeter Lions Club, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, and other community volunteers on the committee.

In more than 30 years of fundraising dinners, this charitable event has raised more than $1.2 million for community parks, accessible trails and conservation areas, recreation and education and job experience opportunities for young people, nature areas and commemorative woods, and other community projects of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and the Exeter Lions Club.

The Conservation Dinner features a live auction, silent auction, Super Silent Auction, general raffles, special raffles, and feature art from a feature artist. 

The Dinner has become a community success story thanks to donors, patrons and guests, and artists and volunteers. The charitable fundraiser supports community improvements such as parks, accessible trails, nature education and recreation for all ages, and more. The Dinner Committee includes the Exeter Lions Club, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, and other community members. For more information visit abca.on.ca or conservationdinner.com. 

The charitable gala supports accessible trails, conservation areas, and parks; outdoor nature education for children and youth; commemorative woods to remember loved ones and improve forest conditions; recreation through fish stocking and a family-friendly fishing derby for the young and the young at heart; and more.

The annual charitable gala features live and silent auctions of art and other distinctive items including travel packages and sports and entertainment memorabilia. The event also includes a special raffle and general raffle. There are many ways to win!

The Conservation Dinner is a charitable community event of the Exeter Lions Club and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.

This dinner and auction was started in 1990 and the Exeter Lions Club joined as co-partner in 1991. The net profits are shared 50:50 with the Exeter Lions Club.

The annual charitable gala features live and silent auctions of art and other distinctive items including travel packages and sports and entertainment memorabilia. The event also includes a special raffle and general raffle. There are many ways to win. This dinner and auction was started in 1990 and the Exeter Lions Club joined as co-partner in 1991. The net profits are split 50-50 between conservation projects of the Foundation and conservation projects of the Exeter Lions Club.

This dinner and auction was started in 1990 and the Exeter Lions Club joined as co-partner in 1991. The net profits are split 50-50 between community conservation projects of the Foundation throughout the watershed and community conservation projects of the Exeter Lions Club. 

The Conservation Dinner has raised funds for community projects such as parks and accessible trails, commemorative woods, the Jones Bridge pedestrian bridge project on the South Huron Trail, and outdoor nature education and recreation in local communities.

The annual charitable gala features live and silent auctions of art and other distinctive items including travel packages and sports and entertainment memorabilia. The event also includes special raffles, general raffles, appetizers, wine tasting, fun and fellowship, and a wonderful meal.

Celebrities from the world of business, entertainment, sports, journalism, and science have served as emcees and special guests and some of the area’s finest artists – in media such as metal, ice and wood sculpture and fine art and culinary arts – have been featured at the auction and dinner event.