Before I came to intern at the Foundation, I knew I would be helping out at something called Henry's Fork Day. All I knew, was that it was an annual event, was open to any member of the Foundation, and that I needed to mow and rake a football field worth of grass up to my hips for the event. So after Thacia, Christina, Natalie and I spent almost 20 hours mowing the site for the day, I was excited to see the field come to life.
When I arrived to Last Chance on Friday, I was mesmerized with how the field had transformed into an event room. I was impressed: from the orderly lined tables, clad with white tablecloths, to the elegantly displayed auction items. The HFF staff, with the help of us interns, had done an incredible job taking what used to be empty space and transforming it.
On Friday, board members and HFF members attended the annual meeting, which discussed the scientific, political, and fundraising progress the Foundation has made in the past year. I learned about the property HFF acquired to maintain public access to Henry's Fork tributaries, the research on the trout populations, how fishermen feel about the quality of fishing in recent years, and much more. I was also impressed at how well the staff presented the Foundation’s accomplishments, showing how much they care about the Foundation and the river.
While Friday was an important learning experience, Saturday was when the real fun began. The interns were given the following tasks for the morning: ensuring each table looked identical and tasteful, arranging the auction items, and carrying out any odd job that was asked of us. At 4 PM, we were ready for the first guests to arrive. As guests trickled in, I stood by the front entrance to the tent to manage crowd control for registration. I had the perfect spot for meeting new people and seeing everyone who entered the tent. Friendly, interesting, and enjoyable to talk to, everyone who walked in was a pleasure to meet. Seeing who benefits from the work we do and how grateful they are also helps me understand why this Foundation is so important. Throughout the night I continued mingling, meeting alumni from my school, fishermen from across the country, architects and bankers, and everyone in between. Amidst these conversations I enjoyed the job of refilling glasses, emptying trash, and helping with the auction. Overall, I learned more than just the effort, time, and foresight it takes to put on such a large, classy event, but also the importance of the type of work the Foundation does.