FOA holds annual benefit online again this year 

BAR HARBOR — The Friends of Acadia Annual benefit is a chance to celebrate Acadia National Park and raise significant funds for conservation initiatives in the park.  

For more than three decades, the annual benefit has been considered one of the high points of the summer season on Mount Desert Island. Seating capacity and other limitations meant only a few hundred could attend each year. Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefit was reimagined to a virtual event with both the live and silent auctions open to all. 

This year, the benefit will be held virtually on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 7-8 p.m., and will once again be open to all with no cost to register. Bidding for most auction items opened Aug. 6. 

“Hosting the annual benefit online has allowed us to expand access to scores of people who may have been unable to attend in the past,” said Friends of Acadia Director of Development Lisa Horsch Clark. “We’ve created a virtual event that is fun, engaging, fast-moving, and, most importantly, safe during these uncertain times. We’re excited to bring together people from our local communities and all over the world to support our beloved park.” 

At the virtual benefit, registrants can bid on trips and experiences, artwork, jewelry and one-of-a-kind items. A highlight of the evening is the annual paddle raise, where bidders raise their “virtual” paddles to support a special and timely project in the park.  

This year’s paddle raise aims to help Acadia National Park accelerate its efforts to implement sustainable operations and reduce emissions. 

An initiative called Greening Acadia will establish a new fund for the park to purchase electric vehicles and equipment and to make capital improvements to reduce the park’s carbon footprint and emissions. Plans include installing solar panels on park buildings and exploring the feasibility and viability introducing electric buses to the Island Explorer bus service. 

To participate in the Friends of Acadia Annual Benefit, register online at  EVENT.GIVES/ACADIA and click LOGIN/REGISTER. To register by phone, text the word ACADIA to (843) 606-5995 and follow the link to register. There is no cost to register, and no purchase or bidding is required. 

To see auction items in advance of the Aug. 14 benefit, visit EVENT.GIVES/ACADIA or stop by the new Friends of Acadia pop-up shop at 115 Main Street in Northeast Harbor. 

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