On October 25th, the Georgia Conservancy presented its first annual Firelight, a celebration of the Stewardship Trips program.

Hosted at the SweetWater Brewing Company's Reel Room and sponsored by AT&T, Firelight welcomed over 375 guests for a night of great beer, music, food and fun! Thank you to our amazing house band Sailing to Denver and our fantastic caterer Salted Honey.

“This was one of the most unique, entertaining and uplifting events we've seen at the brewery," says SweetWater Brewing Company Director of Events and Enjoyment Carrington Moore.

Firelight was bolstered by generous donations of food and drink that included an amazing table of cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy, an ice cream cart from Jake's Ice Cream, a  Whynatte "marshmallow" shot bar, and a deluxe S'more roasting table hosted by REI.

Over the past year, the Conservancy has hosted over 25 service and adventure trips across the state, and
Firelight saw a reunion of many of our past trip participants. The evening was an opportunity for many to reminisce about the incredible places in Georgia that they have visited during the year, and it was also a gateway for dozens of other guests to learn more about this ever-expanding program of the Conservancy.

The Stewardship Trips Program would not be a success without the support of our partners, especially Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). REI joined in the celebration at Firelight with a raffle donation of camping gear and a tasty s’more bar.

REI is a proud sponsor of Georgia Conservancy’s Stewardship Trips Program,” says Jason Lane, Outdoor Programs and Outreach Market Manager for REI. “From the very beginning, it was an incredible way for Georgians to both give back to and explore our state’s natural treasures. While no surprise to REI, it’s been great to see how in the three years since its inception the program has grown exponentially and has made a lasting impact for thousands of volunteers and hundreds upon hundreds of miles of trail, coastline, and wilderness in Georgia. Congratulations to the Georgia Conservancy staff, members, volunteers and trip participants! At REI, we’re excited about what lies ahead down the trail.”

A new partner was also on hand to help with the celebration. Dragon*Con, the largest sci-fi and pop culture convention in the Universe, presented the Conservancy with a check for $26,207 for our second place finish in its 2013 charity competition. (Click here to learn more). The check was carefully guarded throughout Firelight by Storm Troopers from the 501st Legion.

“Dragon*Con was happy to have the opportunity to present the Georgia Conservancy’s portion of our fundraising efforts this year during their inaugural Firelight event,” says Rachel Reeves, Dragon*Con Senior Director of Guests and Media.  “The evening was filled with great food and fellowship for a great cause - you can’t get any better than that. We are looking forward to a continued partnership with the Georgia Conservancy!”

By the end of the evening – through sponsorships, tickets sales, a silent auction and a raffle – Firelight raised $27,500 for the Stewardship Trips program (not including the generous donation by Dragon*Con). Thank you to our committed sponsors, dedicated host committee and incredible vendors. Firelight was a wonderful success!

Click here to view more Firelight photos by William Brawley.

Click here to learn more about our Stewardship Trips Program.