Friends 10th Annual Gala Almost Here!

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Top silent auction items will include a seven-night stay at a 3-bedroom Ritz-Carlton residence in Vail, Coloarado, above, valued at $15,000.

Friends of VI National Park Annual Gala is just around the corner on Saturday, February 1, and tickets are selling out fast for the “gala of galas” on St. John. Join Friends for an elegant evening as we recognize our achievements and celebrate the wonders of our park at this “National Treasures” gala.

Friends is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the natural and cultural resources of Virgin Islands National Park and to promoting the responsible enjoyment of this unique national treasure. Money raised from the event will support the Friend’s continued work on behalf of Virgin Islands National Park, with 23 programs and projects this year alone.

The gala is being hosted by Steven & Pamela Deckoff at their beautiful home, “Presidio del Mar” in Peter Bay, where a red carpet and white roses will welcome guests to the gala. Cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres begin at 6 p.m. and continue all night, including stations for carved meats, seafood and gourmet cheeses. A pastry chef will create fabulous desserts. This year’s wines are top notch and wine enthusiasts will not want to miss the fine wines that flow start to finish. The gala will feature an encore performance of our very own local “In the Sand Band”. Aged rums, homemade truffles and fine cigars will be offered a “Taste of History” bar.

The fabulous Friends raffle featuring items from local vendors and several special silent auction items will cap off the event. Top silent auction items will include a 7-night stay at a 3-bedroom Ritz-Carlton residence in Vail valued at $15,000 and a 7-night stay at Isla Vista, a 3-bedroom luxury villa on St. John, valued at $10,000. Bids for these two items can be placed without attendance at the gala by calling the Friends office at 779-4940. Please call for more info and property descriptions.

A champagne shuttle service and parking will be available at the Trunk Bay parking lot starting at 6 pm. St. Thomas and Cruz Bay guests will be provided shuttle service from the Cruz Bay Ferry dock at 6:20 pm, with return shuttles in time for the 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. ferries to Red Hook.

There are less than 50 tickets left and Friends gala events typically sell out. Tickets are $250, and may be purchased at Connections and the Friends of the Park Store, or by calling Friends at 779-4940. Can’t make it? Raffle tickets may be purchased in advance! $25 each or 5 for $100 at the same locations. The raffle prizes are significant and the odds are good.

There is also a special limited ticket jewelry raffle of a Spanish silver coin and necklace, valued at approximately $3,000 and handmade by R&I PATTON. Rudy Patton chose and set this Spanish 2 reales Pillar dollar, dated 1752, in 18k gold.

The coin comes with a certificate of appraisal and authenticity. Only 100 tickets will be sold. The piece is available for viewing at R&I PATTON in Mongoose Junction. Tickets can be purchased for $50 each next door at the Friends of the Park Store, by phone at 340-779-4940, or at Connections Cruz Bay.

Come out for a great night under the stars in beautiful St. John and help raise funds to assist Friends in their mission of preserving this unique national treasure in our care, Virgin Islands National Park!