Stories from the Field

An Evening on the Lake to Remember

Combined Shape Copy Created with Sketch.
Evening on the Lake guests

It had been over three years since we were able to gather for our annual fundraising event Evening on the Lake. After a heartbreaking last-minute cancellation in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdown, we were determined to bring Evening on the Lake back stronger than ever—and we did! On October 21, 2022 at the Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, we were elated to welcome 250 guests to our signature event in the Pacific Northwest for an evening of food, drinks, entertainment and more all to benefit NatureBridge’s Olympic National Park campus.

The evening began with guests, board members, NatureBridge educators and staff mingling in the main hall among various breakout rooms and learning stations. Guests were able to peer into microscopes and learn about the biodiversity of the waterways in Olympic National Park, examine skulls and skins of animals who are vital to the local ecosystem and learn about how NatureBridge is able to connect students not only to the natural world around them, but also to each other. NatureBridge staff also shared more about how we teach science in the field, their experiences as educators with NatureBridge and even what kind of flora and fauna are in Olympic National Park.

Educator holding an "Ask Me About" sign
A NatureBridge educator sharing their experience working at Olympic National Park with guests

Once dinner was served, guests were invited to participate in a rousing (and challenging) game of trivia. We were introduced to our speakers for the evening, NatureBridge Olympic Campus Director Jen Kidder, CEO Phil Kilbridge, Olympic Board Member Dipa Sudra and our guest student speaker Rozlyn and her 4th grade teacher MacKenzie—who was also a former NatureBridge educator! Each speaker illustrated how NatureBridge has played a role in the development of so many young people like Rozlyn, whether that is unlocking a love of science and nature or helping students make meaningful connections to the people and world around them. We were even treated to a playful rendition of “the banana slug song” by Geode, a NatureBridge educator and one of Rozyln’s favorite memories from her time with NatureBridge!

Student speaker Rozlyn and teacher MacKenzie with CEO Phil Kilbridge
Student guest speaker Rozyln with her 4th grade teacher MacKenzie being interviewed by NatureBridge CEO Phil Kilbridge

The evening was capped off with a lively Raise the Paddle led by emcee Ben Steele where our guests and sponsors raised nearly $300,000 which will go directly to supporting programs at our Olympic campus—more than we have ever raised at Evening on the Lake! As the evening came to a close, guests were treated to an incredible surprise by one of our generous sponsors who upgraded our raffle prizes—round trip airfare for two via Alaska Airlines—to first-class tickets for four lucky winners!

All of the funds raised during the event will ensure that students in the Pacific Northwest—and around the country—will continue to have access to best-in-class environmental science education and critical opportunities to connect with the natural world in the world’s best classrooms, our national parks.

EOL guest entering the raffle
EOL guests entering our raffle

Thank you to our Olympic board and our event planning committee who provided guidance and leadership for our team. Thank you to our staff who put so much time and effort into Evening on the Lake. And finally, thank you to our incredible sponsors and  everyone who attended who helped make the evening an incredible success!

Sponsor logos

Photos courtesy of Annie Schuler

View the full photo album

Check out these other