THE ASSOCIATE BOARD of the Lake Forest Open Lands Association (LFOLA) will host its annual spring outdoor fundraiser, Cattails & Cocktails, on May 14 at the Mellody Farm Nature Preserve in Lake Forest.
The Shakespeare-inspired event draws its theme from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and will feature live music, an open bar, a wine tasting, and a live auction.
Co-chairs of the event, Lake Forest residents Michelle Taubensee and Courtney Magliochetti, say the event raises critical funds for educational programs and other initiatives that are part of LFOLA’s mission.
“The main role of the Associate Board is to promote education and promote what we are doing in the community,” Taubensee says. “It includes after-school programs, a summer camp, and a program called Outdoor Adventures. In addition to that, we plan this spring event.”
The board will also be hosting, for the first time, a companion event for kids, Cattails & Kiddies, on the afternoon of April 9.
“We are trying to involve the kids more this year. We do a lot of kids programming and this will introduce them to philanthropy,” Magliochelli says. “It’s a one-day event where they’ll be doing outdoor activities and doing some crafts and creating art pieces for the main event.”
Both Taubensee and Magliochetti have children who regularly take part in LFOLA programs and activities, and they say their kids are what motivates them to volunteer their time to the organization.
“It’s great to get out and walk around and my kids love to go explore the trails and the different prairies,” Magliochett says.“ It’s just a great family place.”
“Last year for sure was interesting for Open Lands, being open to the public and staying open during the pandemic. The community really utilized it,” says Taubensee. “It’s a great place to get your kids outside for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the trails. We moved up here three years ago from the city and one of the draws to Lake Forest was all of the open lands.”
The Cattails & Cocktails event offers many opportunities for community residents to show their support for LFOLA. Sponsorships of various aspects of the event are available, including, among others, the “Love Potions” Bar, “Sneak a Peek” Tasting, and a “Welcome to Fairyland” Tent and Drink. Individual tickets are available for a donation of $100 for members of the association and $125 for non-members.
Cattails & Cocktails is one of a number of events throughout the year that LFOLA utilizes to raise funds to carry out its mission, which is to preserve, restore, and protect open lands in Lake Forest and the surrounding area.
“Lake Forest Open Lands Association has been a leader among land trusts both locally and nationally,” Taubensee says. “We all enjoy having it on our doorstep and want to help continue its work preserving the remarkable open spaces in our communities.”
For more information about Cattails & Cocktails and Cattails & Kiddies call 847-237-8080 or 847-234-3880 or visit lfola.org.