Party for PEEC Will Benefit Nature Programs

A smorgasbord of traditional Native American dishes served at previous annual benefit parties for PEEC. Courtesy/PEEC

The annual benefit party for the Pajarito Environmental Educational Center, the nature center in Los Alamos, is being held at the Hilltop House Hotel from 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Sunday April 22.

This is the 13th year for PEEC’s involvement in the community-wide Earth Day Festival with its fund-raising effort.

For the last three years, Felicia Orth has been the chef extraordinaire at the Party for PEEC.  

In 2010, she prepared food of the Native American period of our history. 

Last year she gave us a taste of Spanish food related to the Spanish colonial period.  This year, in commemoration of New Mexico’s Centennial, her menu will be related to the period of settlement of this continent, celebrating 100 years of  New Mexico history and statehood.   

This year, we are excited to have “The Craig Martin Experience” ensemble to entertain party-goers with bluesy jazz from 5-6 p.m., the gathering time.

This seven-piece jazz combo has been together since December 2010. The musicians are Craig Martin on tenor saxophone, Quinn Marksteiner on alto saxophone, Carl Hagelberg on trumpet, Mike Rogers on guitar, Aaron Anderson on keyboards, John Frary on drums, and Rob Heineman on bass.

Their music will accompany pre-dinner appetizers, a no-host bar and browsing the silent auction items.

The silent auction is rich with enticing items and services.

Merchants and individuals have donated a number of items that will be up for bid.

These include  a photo portrait package from Don Taylor, a day’s ski tickets for next year’s ski season, Nambeware, books, paintings, nature services such as garden design, star-gazing, wildflower identification, and many other items. Funds from the silent auction and a portion of the ticket price will help support educational programs at PEEC.

At 6 p.m., we will enjoy a wonderful meal representing the early years of our country and New Mexico History.

Appetizers will include codfish cakes, Crab Imperial, asparagus with raspberry vinaigrette, chile-spiced pecans, pickled fruits.

Entrees include beef stew, Philadelphia chicken curry and country ham. Desserts will be Martha Washington’s Black Cake, Abigail Adams’ Apple Bread Pudding, and Jefferson’s Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberries.

Felicia prepares a flyer of information about each recipe and the history behind them.   

Since its beginnings, PEEC’s mission has been “to inspire people of all ages to explore the natural and cultural heritage of the Pajarito Plateau and to strengthen their connection to the natural world.

PEEC has offered extensive activities for adults and children in the community:  educational programs that stress getting out-of-doors to reduce stress and encourage lifelong learning about the environment for adults.

Children’s programs for Los Alamos Public Schools that focus on hands-on, standards-based outdoor science; and children’s programs like Nature Playtimes, Kids’ Gardening, Nature Odyssey, Living Earth Adventure Program (LEAP), First Friday Forts, and Nature Clubs.

But to support these programs, many of which are free, we need to garner memberships and raise money.

We hope everyone will come and help support PEEC and PEEC’s programs by attending the Party and the Earth Day Festival the day before (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 21) at the Orange Street location.

Tickets for the Party for PEEC are available at 

Tickets are $50 a person, of which $25 is a tax-deductible donation. 

Tickets are also available at PEEC, 3540 Orange St., during open hours noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

For information, call 662-0460.




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