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Conservation Dinner

Conservation Dinner online auction returns in 2022
Week-long #VirtualConservationDinner online auction in 2022 begins March 31 and ends on April 7 at 9 p.m.

The Conservation Dinner Committee is bringing back the online auction for the second year in a row.

The charitable fundraiser went virtual for the first time in 2021 and it was a success in raising $40,000 for conservation projects in local communities. The Committee has decided to return to the online format for 2022.

The 2022 #VirtualConservationDinner online auction is to begin on Thursday, March 31, 2022 and ends on Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 9 p.m. You may find out more at and or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

Dave Frayne is Chair of the Conservation Dinner Committee. He says the committee had hoped to hold the dinner and auction in person this year but there is uncertainty during the current pandemic about whether a large in-person event could take place in April. He says the committee decided unanimously that it is prudent to return to the online auction format for 2022.

“We were so pleased by the community’s support of our first online auction last year and we hope donors and bidders will be just as generous in 2022,” he says. “We did look forward to meeting in person but since we don’t know what things will look like in April it’s safer to join together virtually this year in support of projects in our local communities.”

The Conservation Dinner is a partnership of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and Exeter Lions Club. This dinner and auction charitable fundraising event started in 1990. Net profits are split evenly between community conservation projects of the Foundation and community conservation projects of the Exeter Lions Club.

The event has raised more than $1.255 million for the community over more than 30 years. 

Even when large in-person events are not possible the need to raise funds remains, according to the Dinner Committee Chair. The Conservation Dinner fundraiser supports needed projects, by Exeter Lions Club and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, in local communities. 

The Exeter Lions Club has been a partner for more than three decades in the Conservation Dinner. The Exeter Lions Club, chartered in 1937, is part of the world’s largest and most active service organization. It is a group of service-minded men and women banded together to do things which cannot be done by individuals working alone. The club has actively fundraised for projects including development and maintenance of South Huron Trail, MacNaughton Park, and other nature and conservation projects. These are just some of the examples of their service in action.

Projects supported by the Dinner include community work by the Lions Club and community work by the Conservation Foundation.

These projects, supported by auction sponsors and donors and bidders and volunteers, are many. They include parks and conservation areas; accessible nature trails in Bayfield, Clinton, Parkhill, Lucan, Arkona, Exeter, and Varna; outdoor nature education; a $1,000 student environmental bursary for students in local communities; a summer job at Ausable Bayfield Conservation for a senior secondary school student; turtle monitoring in Port Franks and Ailsa Craig; aquatic habitat studies in Old Ausable Channel at Grand Bend; and other

The Exeter Lions Club plans to bring back the popular 50-50 draw in 2022 for the fourth year. When tickets are available for this fundraising activity, the website link to purchase tickets online will be posted here:

The draw had a record prize of $6,300 in 2021.

Last year, the Dinner Committee partnered with participating local restaurants, for the first time, in a Dining for Your Community effort. Families could purchase their own ‘conservation dinners’ from participating restaurants during the week of the auction. This allowed them to support community projects, and their local businesses, in the process. Organizers hope to bring back this dining venture for 2022. The committee invites local restaurants to take part.

To learn about Dining for Your Community and to watch for 2022 restaurant partners visit this web page:

Last year, for the first time, the Dinner Committee hosted two live TV broadcasts to kick off and cap off the auction week. The Committee plans to bring back these popular livestream broadcasts in 2022. You may watch for details on this web page:

 The broadcasts are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2022 and at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, 2022 (the last day of auction week).

To learn more about the online auction visit this web page:

 A link to the online auction will be posted on this page when the online auction begins on March 31.