Grinnell, Resident Barred Owl Photo credit: Itinerant Studios

This heat is for the birds! Well, not exactly, that is to say they are struggling with it too! But thanks to the watchful eye and careful tending of Betty Ross, Director of the Glen Helen Raptor Center, the birds are faring well through the high temperatures. I paid her a visit this week, exactly one year after we launched the first annual Whoo Cooks for You? fundraising event that brought together locally celebrated chefs, farmers, artists, and service providers to cook up a unique and wonderful dining experience for about 100 guests. We laughed remembering how we were so concerned with the possibility of the heat stifling our plans for a pleasant outdoor table next to the resident cages and in the end were outwitted by the rain! Just as our guest were arriving to take their seats together at one long, slow curving table surrounded by the natural beauty of the Glen, the rain forced us to make last minute plans. Fortunately, the crowd was of good cheer and after a quick scramble we reconvened in the Outdoor Education Center just up the path. Following was a splendid evening of amazing food and  good company- all to benefit the important work of the Raptor Center! Guests enjoyed sharing the table with the farmers that produced the food on their plates, watching the chefs at work in the kitchen, and reaping the benefits of those connections. (For a look back, visit the scrapbook link on the website.)

Photo credit: Itinerant Studios

We remembered all of the people that came together to make this event such a success and marveled at the number of family businesses that volunteered their services in the spirit of nurturing local initiatives. There are the chefs of course, and the servers (all volunteers), and the farmers. But did you know that the photographers, web and graphic designers, artists, equipment rental company, landscapers and other service providers that generously helped make this event possible all have local, family owned businesses- some that have been around for generations?! In the coming weeks we will post their stories. We hope by the time you take your seat at the table in September you will see some familiar faces and find your place among the many that are supporting a healthy and prosperous local habitat for us all. Hope to see you there!     -Jenny Montgomery

To learn more about the work of the Raptor Center and how you can support it visit the “About” page on this blog.

Photo Credit: Itinerant Studio