Fort Worth Wild 2024: A Very Special Celebration

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To commemorate its 50-year anniversary, the Friends will kick off a year of celebration with a special gala in April honoring Bob O'Kennon.
Fort Worth Wild 2024, in addition to celebrating the Friends' 50th anniversary, will honor our very own Bob O'Kennon. Photo by Eileen Blumenthal.

Fort Worth Wild, the Friends’ annual dinner and gala, is scheduled for April 25, 2024, and promises to be a very special evening as we celebrate our 50th anniversary and honor a person who is near and dear to every Nature Center supporter, our very own Bob O’Kennon.

Few organizations can trace their history back 50 years. The passion for nature exhibited by our members, donors, and volunteers allowed us to grow from a small group of 112 people in our first year to a strong organization of nearly 3,600 members today. This is indeed a milestone worth celebrating. This year’s Fort Worth Wild will help fund, among many things, the expansion of the pasture area adjacent to the newly built — and Friends supported — Bison Viewing Deck. This will allow ecologically beneficial pasture rotation, decreased dependence on expensive feed, and increased Bison-related educational outreach efforts.

In addition to celebrating 50 years, we will be honoring a person who has served the Friends for more than two decades: Bob O’Kennon. Bob’s tireless efforts on the Friends Board of Directors and various committees have made him an invaluable part of our organization. Many of you may know Bob as “Botany Bob” from his years of leading the “Botany with Bob” member events. You also may have caught him at the Nature Center, where he has always been happy to share his love and vast knowledge of plants.

As we commemorate the incredible contributions of Bob and our 50-year legacy of preserving and protecting the 3,650 acres of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, we hope you will invest in our next 50 years. Fort Worth Wild sponsorships are still available if you would like to attend the event and support the promising future of the Friends and the Nature Center. This year’s event will include live music and a live auction. Individual tickets are not available, but we welcome all donations of all sizes.

Again, please join us in celebrating our 50th anniversary, Bob O’Kennon, and the bright future of the Friends and the Nature Center. To learn more about Fort Worth Wild 2024, to become a sponsor, or to make a donation, visit the Fort Worth Wild 2024 webpage.

By Craig Woodcook, Development Chair and Board Member, Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center

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