Aurora Cook Out June 2014

The June 15th Aurora Cook-Out (and Auction) was a big success.  The new load of dirt delivered for the Aurora Fossil Festival a few weeks earlier had been mauled nicely – and only needed a good rain to make all the great new treasures visible – and we were not disappointed!  I saw some of things Gary and Alex picked up – including a possible bramble tooth.  Many folks made good finds and several people filled buckets to take home with them and hunt later. There was also plenty of time to visit the museum, view the new exhibits and shop the ever changing gift shop. What turned out to be a very pleasant mid-June day saw about 35 club members turning out for another round of fossils, food & fun – with an auction benefiting the publication fund topping it all off.  A whole new mix of folks showed up this time.  There were the “regulars”, George Powell, John Powell (no relation), Bruce & Linda McCall, Andrea & Al Stilley, Judy Stiles, Trish Kohler, Joanne Panec-Dubrock, Tracey Hale-Mayo, Lynn Moore, Jonathan, Kathy & Ari Fain, Ramona Krailler (who brought her neice), Gary & Alex Lewis and Roxada Story, plus a whole crop of new folks – even a family who came and joined the club at the picnic (and were very active at the auction!). Unfortunately I didn’t do a sign-in sheet and can’t remember everyone’s names.  Bruce McCall plied his talents as chef, cooking up hot dogs with all the fixings – and every dog was eaten.  Several folks brought sides and desserts to eat as well and with food overflowing, everyone had a full stomach. Ramona brought enough watermelons to feed an army! The camaraderie was excellent and fossil stories (like fish stories) grew ever larger with the telling. Tables had been set up in the room for folks to drop off donations to the auction – I’d rather had the idea we would have maybe 20 items tops and most would have come from either myself or Trish, but BOY, was I surprised!  Judy Stiles went above and beyond donating dozens and dozens of items, the McKoys donated two wonderful echinoderms (which I bought) and several other folks made donations as well.  After lunch we got down to the semi-serious business of auctioning off all the donations.  Bruce did the auctioneering bit for a while – then bailed on me to go look at a plane and I took over (but he’s way better at it than I am).  We had WAY more fossils than people so I ended up holding some of the donations back for the NEXT auction.  Bidding was fun and crazy and occasionally a bidding war would get started over a coveted prize.  This was NOT the Aurora Fossil Festival kind of auction.  It was mostly for fun and a good cause.  Nothing went for over $50.00 (only 2 things commanded that high a price) with most things ranging from $5.00 to $20.00.  All in all we sold 51 items and raised $600.00 for the publication fund. YAY!  After the auction we handed out another 20 or so door prizes - so everyone went away with smiles on their faces. John Powell even parted with a few treasures from his personal collection in a “sidewalk sale” of sorts concluding the day’s events, but several folks headed back out to do more spoil pile collecting, with Joanne and Trish hunting until 8:30pm. Joanne got lots of poop and teeth, including a nice Mako and Trish did the same and also found a large, blonde Meg partially broken with its root missing.  Another great time had by all.  Can’t wait to do it again!