“Wild Night for Wildlife” BlueGreen Fundraiser set for November 17

Alligator Ron’s Saloon where the inaugural BlueGreen Event will take place at the Green Glades Ranch in Weston, Fla. on Nov. 17, 2012.

On Saturday, November 17, 2012 from 5 to 10 p.m. in Broward County at the private Everglades ranch of living legend “Alligator Ron” Bergeron, the Wildlife Foundation of Florida (WFF) will host its inaugural Florida BlueGreen event.

Billed as a “Wild Night for Wildlife,” the foundation’s first-ever statewide conservation fundraising event will be a Florida Cracker-style cowboy gala at Alligator Ron’s Saloon at the Green Glades Ranch in Weston, complete with live entertainment, music, silent auction and authentic Florida Cracker Cowboy barbecue.

Bringing together celebrities, political figures, activists and notable conservationists from around the state for a once-a-year, unified effort, the BlueGreen will benefit the Wildlife Foundation’s Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network and several other important youth and conservation initiatives.

“The money raised at the BlueGreen will go directly to funding programs and projects around the state that empower and encourage kids to get out and participate in traditional outdoor recreation, such as fishing, archery, hunting bird watching, and more,” stated Bret Boston, executive director of the WFF. “We need everyone – government, industry, residents, the private sector – to support this event and help bring up Florida’s next generation of conservationists who see the value in enjoying and protecting our state’s greatest treasures.”

According to recent research from the Kaiser Institute, the proportion of children ages 9-12 who spend time in activities like hiking, walking, and fishing has declined by 50 percent in just the past 10 years – a trend that BlueGreen host and seventh generation Floridian Bergeron says has to stop.

“The foundation is reconnecting Florida’s youth with the outdoors and showing them that preserving our wildlife is important, but they need money to do it,” said Bergeron, who was appointed to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 2007 by then Governor Charlie Crist. “That’s what the BlueGreen is all about, and I hope everyone comes out to the ranch to support the cause.”

The site of many high-profile fundraising events, the saloon at Alligator Ron’s Green Glades Ranch looks inspired by the 1953 Western classic “Shane” and is decorated with alligator, cougar and bobcat wildlife mounts; vintage rifles and pistols; and a life-sized re-creation of Chief Osceola. For the 2012 BlueGreen event, VIPs mounting the saloon’s fringed-saddle bar stools will include several of Florida’s biggest wildlife advocates such as Jim Fowler, author Harvey Oyer, Beau Turner, and Kim Rhode. While rubbing shoulders with some of Florida’s finest, BlueGreen guests will have a chance to bid on one-of-a-kind silent auction items such as a fishing trip with Miami Dolphins’ All-Pro lineman and former FWC Commissioner Dwight Stephenson, and lunch with Jim Fowler, renowned host of the hit television series “Wild Kingdom,” to name a few.

The BlueGreen event is modeled after similar annual events in Georgia and Texas, and WFF Board Members expect it to become the biggest fundraiser for wildlife and conservation programs in the Southeast.

“Florida outranks our neighboring states in a number of activities – from football to tourism,” stated WFF executive director Boston. “In the spirit of friendly rivalries, we’d like to see the BlueGreen add conservation fundraising to that list.”

For more information about the BlueGreen event or to purchase tickets, visit www.FloridaBlueGreen.com.