by Bri Kilroy
Earth Day is celebrated in more than 190 countries worldwide, and the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) holds its annual Blue Tie Ball for those looking to celebrate at the planet’s Grand Rapids location. On April 20, the Goei Center becomes the place to eat, drink, mix and mingle in support of WMEAC’s water programs and their continuous mission to reduce water pollution in our lakes and rivers.
“Water is the tie that holds us together,” Mary Robinson, director of development at WMEAC, said when explaining the meaning behind the “Blue Tie” title.
The metaphor provided a namesake for the event that acts as a centerpiece supporting WMEAC’s water programs that teach community members to take action against major water pollutants, the primary being storm water. Programs like Rain Barrel Workshops, Teach for the Watershed and Rain Gardens supply hands-on classes that help people understand storm water and the effects it has on our environment when it’s prevented from natural absorption via streets and sewers.
The Blue Tie Ball’s menu and agenda are as appetizing as a greener, more sustainable planet. Guests converse over cocktails while falling in love with local, fresh cuisine by Kangaroo Kitchen (1007 Fulton St.). Another fundraising feature separating Blue Tie Ball from others is that guests spend the night bidding on live auction items.
“We thought ‘people have enough stuff,’” Robinson said. “We want to focus on interesting experiences people can have.”
Those experiences include a vegan cooking class, a Crystal Mountain ski package and an urban environmental scavenger hunt throughout downtown GR. We, at WLM, enjoyed the vegan cooking class last year and, let me tell you, it was amazing!
Additional experiences await at the Blue Tie Ball along with a moving video about water programs and the presentation of the George Hartwell Environmental Legacy Award. Tickets are available now at WMEAC.org/bluetieball. Explore other opportunities to show Mother Earth some love under the “Take Action” tab and join the movement to preserve our planet in a way the dinosaurs never dreamed of.
- What: WMEAC’s Blue Tie Ball
- Where: Goei Center, 818 Butterworth St. SW
- When: April 20, 6-10 p.m.
- Tickets: $65 (members) $80 (non-members). Become a member at WMEAC.org
- Dress: Cocktail attire
Bri Kilroy is a Grand Valley and AmeriCorps alumna who learned to type through vigorous Mavis Beacon trainings. She also passes as an artist, illustrator and author of this bio.