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Nite Out auction benefits conservation film festival

October 02, 2005|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va.

Item No. 7 was an evening of philosophical discussion on topics ancient to contemporary donated by Farzad Mahootian.

Item No. 1 was an organic facial, "which can be used after your whitewater rafting trip or your horseback ride."

And Item No. 12 was an aprs holiday shopping gathering with a cocktail party for 16.

There also were tours of the National Geographic building in Washington, D.C., and National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" news program plus a weekend stay for six at a Georgetown apartment.

They and other lots were on the block Saturday at the Nite Out fundraiser at Wild Goose Farm north of Shepherdstown.

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The farm is owned by Gat and Susan Caperton. He is the son of former West Virginia Gov. Gaston Caperton.

Proceeds benefit the American Conservation Film Festival to be held later this month at the National Conservation Training Center, also north of Shepherdstown, and at other local venues.

The $45-a-plate dinner and auction, in the barn at Wild Goose Farm, drew about 200 patrons.

Other lots included such charity auction fare as horseback riding lessons, paintings by local artists, a half-day's worth of manual labor, whitewater rafting trips and some fly rods.

Rodney Woods of Martinsburg, W.Va., a retired Berkeley County school administrator, was the auctioneer.

This is the third year for the fundraiser, said Daniel Channell, festival manager and its only paid employee. Last year, the event netted about $6,000, he said.

"It's the only fundraiser we have," Channell said.

This year's festival is the biggest ever with 22 films. All have conservation, environmental or Appalachian themes, Channell said. The festival runs from Oct. 26 to 29, Channell said.

Most of the films this year will be shown at the National Conservation Training Center, while others in the series will be shown at the Shepherdstown Opera House downtown and Reynolds Hall on the Shepherd University campus.

All of the films are free.

Patrons will have to be selective. At least four films will be shown on each of the first three days of the festival, and nine will be shown on Oct. 29.

Filmmakers will be on hand in a series of forums to explain their productions and to answer audience questions.

Among the film titles to be shown are "Mountain Memories," "Bird People," "Ride of the Mergansers," "The Buffalo War," "A Life Among the Whales," "Strange Days: One Degree Factor," "Grizzly Man," "Oil on Ice" and, for those who missed it in the regular theaters, "March of the Penguins."

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