(December 7, 2013 – Fontana, WI) On December 7, 2013 the Geneva Lake Conservancy (GLC) held its annual winter gala fundraiser, Holly Ball Goes Hollywood, at Big Foot Country Club in Fontana. As part of this annual fundraiser, the Conservancy recognizes an individual for conservation contributions to the area. This year the award was presented to Gail Hibbard.
Charles Colman, GLC Chairman, presented the award to Hibbard. “Gail Hibbard has set an example through her consistency, dedication and follow through. We are thankful for all of her efforts in the restoration of the oak savanna and prairie in Fontana. It is our honor to present this award to an individual who leads by example.”
Hibbard’s commitment to conservation spans a lifetime and was recognized by the Geneva West Chamber of Commerce in 2012 with the Fontana Citizen of the Year Award for her tireless efforts on behalf of the Village, demonstrated through constant public service. Work on the CDA (Community Development Agency) in Fontana began in 2006, and soon after on the Village Parks Commission. Gail fostered a partnership with the Village, Fontana Garden Club and village residents to enable the restoration of the prairie and oak savanna in Fontana. Deemed one of the best examples of prairie restoration by noted native plantsman Roy Diblik, the momentum for this project is due to Hibbard’s unfailing commitment. Restoration expert Tom Vanderpoel said Hibbard is “dedicated and determined to bring native ecosystem restoration to Fontana, in both the prairie and the oak savanna”. The corp of volunteers dedicated to the restoration project is a testament to her leadership.
The Holly Ball been has been a Geneva Lakes area tradition since 1982, and in 2000 the Conservancy welcomed the opportunity to continue this long standing tradition. The event is a means to raise awareness of the Conservancy’s mission to “protect the environmental character of the Geneva Lakes area”, as well as a fundraiser. The event is always held the first Saturday of December and serves as the kickoff event of the Holiday season. Several hundred guests gather at Big Foot Country Club for a festive evening of dinner and dancing.