Eliza Wiley Independent Record - Emmett Purcell and Jonathon Krauss, volunteer trail builders with the Prickly Pear Land Trust, are pictured on the top of Mount Ascension in an IR file photo from 2010 near the site of the new Entertainment Trail that both were instrumental in creating. The Harvest Moon banquet, PPLT's fundraiser, raised $90,000 over the weekend which will be used to aquire land.


Independent Record


An outdoor adventure in the Galapagos Islands swimming with white tip sharks, kayaking among the flamingoes and snorkeling with marine turtles was the top auction item at the recent Harvest Moon event, the annual banquet for the Prickly Pear Land Trust.

The high bidders were Claudia and Gerry Davis who paid $5,000 for the trip knowing full well that about half of that is a donation to the trust. Claudia recently started with the Prickly Pear and was shocked that her husband kept bidding.

“I was sitting next to him, hitting him, saying, ‘Are you crazy?’ ” Claudia said. “I think he spoils me and just wanted to win.”

The couple has until the end of the next year to go on the multi-sport adventure donated by Detour Destinations.

The banquet and the trip to Isabela Island was just one of many auction items that raised $90,000 for PPLT to be used for operations and to help with land programs to acquire parcels of open space, according to Executive Director Andy Baur. Not only does the banquet help cover the operating costs but in addition the successful, “Call for Cash” during the live action raised approximately $20,000 that will specifically help PPLT’s Backdrop Initiative program to protect the scenic open lands, trail access and wildlife habitat on the Mount Ascension Ridge.

This was the 12th annual banquet and about 340 people attended, which was slightly down from previous years, which organizers attribute to a busy weekend with many other local events.

Next year the event falls on the fall solstice, Sept. 21.


Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or


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