Participants asked to identify locations in County

Student raised 2x what she expected

Article by Valerie Macdonald/submitted photo above of Courtney Drew

A series of online challenges combined with photography and getting outside has raised more than the usual silent auction funding for Willow Beach Field Naturalists. The traditional in-person auction was cancelled this year due to Covid-19.

The “For the Love of Nature” fundraiser was created by a Willow Beach member and 17-year-old local resident, Courtney Drew.

The project was a fundraiser for the naturalist group, but also a major school project, Drew told the News Now Network during an interview.

“I just wanted to let you know that the Challenge wrapped up about a week ago and we raised a grand total of $1,085 for the environmental education awards!” Drew stated in an e-mail to the News Now Network.

“I wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk to me about the Challenge in December and publishing the article! I really appreciated the opportunity to talk to you.”

The fundraiser ran to the end of February.

The structure of the challenge was to “allow participants to actively support our local community without the risk of spreading the virus while respecting and enjoying the outdoors,” according to the website post about its purpose.

Usually, the silent auction brings in about $1,000 while Drew’s goal was half of that.