Dinner for the wildlife center raises $2,000

SANTA FE, NM – Looking for a low-key way to benefit your charity? Dinner that you needed anyway, at a restaurant that donates its profit from that night to your cause and a raffle for a “winner takes all” bundle of restaurant gift certificates to Santa Fe’s top destinations?

Jane Brickner held such an evening at yummy Counter Culture for 75 supporters of The Wildlife Center and raised more than $2,000. Everyone ordered off the counter menu and it was as casual as a family of bobcats strolling into your yard on the north side – which by the way, executive director Katherine Eagleson says not to worry too much about. (The cute wild animals will move on, but don’t try to be nice by putting out food for them. Well, duh!)

The Wildlife Center is THE go-to rehab clinic in New Mexico for wild animals, from birds to bears. Last year, the staff of nine and 75 volunteers cared for more than 800 animals from 150 species and 68 percent of their “clients” were released back into the wild – one of the highest rates in the country.

Eighty percent of their funding comes from generous individuals and the money also helps support children’s educational programs about nature. As the center’s staff says, “We teach science … by doing science. Outdoors. In rivers. In canyons. In the world.”

For information, go to thewildlifecenter.org.

Birds of a feather …

Flying to a similar tune, The Santa Fe Raptor Center looks after these fascinating birds, from beloved and beleaguered bald and golden eagles to their avian relatives, including household owls and jet-setting falcons. Wounded, ill or orphaned raptors need specialized care and the Raptor Center is among the best in the country!

A rousing auction at Las Campanas for about 100 supporters raised $5,000, and brought attention and support to this low-profile, high-energy group that truly loves these very special birds, such as James Dean, the golden eagle who was released at the Rio Grande Gorge wearing a solar transmitter. You can follow his airborne journey of hundreds of miles on the website theraptorcenter.org!

The Big Buckaroo Returns

The Buckaroo Ball is back! Just in time for its 20th anniversary! In case you didn’t know, after a short hiatus from the mega-galas of the past, for the last couple of years, they’ve held smaller, more casual balls. There’s still a silent and live auction, a voluminous barbecue dinner and western dancing; bolos, conchos and cowboy boots; and pretty girls all dolled up in their western bling. And there’s still the wind.

This year, though, with Fiddle Kirk capably at the reins, the party went high-tech, replacing paper bid sheets with Silicon Valley-savvy hand-held computer bidding devices … tres trendy. The crowd of 275 moved around clicking their little blue bidders, tracking sculptures, paintings, designer clothing and goody baskets. No looking on the list to see who’s bidding against you!

No need to lurk next to your item, waiting for the countdown to squeeze your name on the line just before the last second! Sit where you are and enter the item number, see the current high bid, punch in your offer and hope you end up the highest … whew! Scary! Sophisticated. The successful bidders will give the Buckaroo Ball over $100,000 to pass out in grants this season.

A poignant speech by a formerly homeless teen mother reminded the crowd why we were there, namely to raise funds for the many children’s charities the Buckaroo Ball underwrites. This young lady is now a successful professional with a good job, and an eight-year-old who is doing well in school and in life. She credits the Buckaroo Ball’s assistance with saving her from the streets and a life of misery. That’s the point.

This year’s band, Asleep at the Wheel, sure weren’t! They’re a well-oiled machine, nationally acclaimed, and had most everyone whirling in their boots on the dance floor. If only we could stay awake later!

Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email apm@ashleymargetson.com.


Deborah and Bill Parker check their newfangled bidding device at the Buckaroo Ball.


National number-one-rated bridge star Jerry Ruther and his author wife Barbara love the Wildlife Center.


Alan Webber and party hostess Jane Brickner cuddle for the Wildlife Center at Counter Culture.


A yummy dinner for Wildlife Center executive director Katherine Eagleson and brother Steven.



North side wildlife watchers Lee and Terry Egbert at Counter Culture.


Sandy and Michelle Henry at the Buckaroo Ball tent.


Buckaroo Ball chairman Fiddle Kirk and Stuart Kirk welcome guests.


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