skip to main content

Online auction raises $30K for community

The Conservation Dinner is a partnership of Exeter Lions Club and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.


Second Virtual Conservation Dinner online auction raises tens of thousands of dollars for community
Conservation Dinner charity auction went online, in 2022, for second year, raising more than $30,000 for community projects

The Conservation Dinner charitable auction was virtual in 2022, the second year the community fundraiser went online. The online auction ran from March 31 to April 7 and estimates are that it has raised more than $30,000 for needed projects in local communities.

The Conservation Dinner is a fundraising partnership of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and Exeter Lions Club. Dave Frayne is Chair of the Conservation Dinner Committee. He thanked all the generous donors and bidders who made this year’s event another successful fundraiser. He also thanked the volunteers who make it happen.

“I want to thank everyone who donated to the Virtual Conservation Dinner and everyone who bid in the online auction,” he said. “Your donations and your bids will benefit young people and the entire community.”

The #VirtualConservationDinner supports community work by the Lions Club and the Conservation Foundation. These projects, supported by sponsors, donors, bidders and volunteers, are many. They include parks and conservation areas; accessible nature trails in Bayfield, Clinton, Parkhill, Lucan, Arkona, Exeter, and Varna; outdoor recreation including a family-friendly fishing derby; a $1,000 student environmental bursary for local students; 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; outdoor nature education; and other local projects that could not happen otherwise.

The estimated amount of funds raised does not include additional donations expected through the Dine for Your Community program. The following six restaurants are donating some proceeds, from restaurant meals which were ordered on specific dates, to the community projects of the Dinner: Eddington’s of Exeter; Hessenland Inn; Dublin’s Family Restaurant; The Lake Hound of Grand Bend; The Lake House of Bayfield; and Robinson Fresh Café. The Conservation Dinner Committee Chair thanked all the participating restaurants. In addition to these restaurants, many other restaurants generously donated gift certificates or dining experiences to the charitable auction fundraiser. Many other generous businesses and individuals also donated to the online auction.

The Dinner Committee Chair said he hopes the Conservation Dinner will be in person in 2023 but he thanked everyone who made it possible to support important community projects online even when planning large gatherings has not been possible over the past two years.

Over the 32-year history of the Conservation Dinner, it has raised more than $1.285 million for projects in local communities. To learn more about the Conservation Dinner visit and

Share this article >