Are You Ready to Ramble?

By Barbara Caldwell, Executive Director

31st Annual Ramble 2012Hey all you River Bend fans – I hope you have marked September 29th on your calendars.  Why?  Because that is the date for River Bend Nature Center’s annual fundraising gala – the River Bend Ramble, and you don’t want to miss it!  This is our 31st annual event, and all of the proceeds go to help River Bend continue providing Southeastern Minnesota with great educational programming, great recreation and beautiful habitats.  But to continue our mission to “help people discover, enjoy, understand and preserve the incredible natural world that surrounds us” – we need your help.  River Bend is a private non-profit organization and we depend on memberships and donations; because we get no regular funding from the City of Faribault, Rice County, or the State of Minnesota.  The Ramble is our largest fundraiser of the year and provides River Bend with over 10% of our total annual budget.

Example auction item

This beautiful grill was one of the items that was donated by a generous River Bend supporter and then auctioned off at Ramble 2011.

Now, I am sure you want to know more about what happens at Ramble – well the answer is – a lot!  This year we are holding the event at the new National Guard Armory in Faribault (it’s near the airport –  3000 West Airport Drive) and we will be having a wonderful dinner provided by Marlene Gustafson Catering, Boxer’s Bar & Grill will be providing our beverage service, and Hy-Vee is providing the dessert.  As for entertainment, we will have Porchlight with Doug Madow on keyboard and Lucinda Wells on vocals.  During the evening you will have a chance to bid on many, many fantastic silent auction items.  We have something for everyone –sports tickets, home décor, gift certificates, baby items, jewelry, baskets with wine, artwork, and even a rocking moose!  We also have a live auction that is always a lot of fun.  This year we have items such as one facial per month for a year, one massage per month for a year, a bike valued at over $600, a waterscape for indoors or outdoors including installation, a backyard camping family package, and a backyard party package.  We are still adding more items to our auction list, so if you would like to donate an auction item please visit our Ramble donation web page to find out how.  We will also be selling special butterfly suncatchers made from recycled glass to commemorate the event.

Pumpkin-themed Basket

This pumpkin-themed gift basket was one of the many fun baskets available in our silent auction in 2011.

Can’t join us for the event?  You can still help.  This year’s Ramble also features a cash raffle.  The minimum prize is $1,000, and could go as high as $5,000!  The raffle tickets are available now and only cost $10.00 a chance.  The winning ticket will be drawn during the evening of Ramble and you don’t have to be present to win.

Now that you have all the info – I bet you want to know how to get your tickets to this great evening of fun?  Tickets are only $40 each and all you have to do is call us at 507-332-7151 to order your tickets or you can check out our website and order your event tickets online – or – stop by and see us here at River Bend!

Thank you to our great event sponsors: KGP Logistics, Faribault Foods, Harry Brown’s Family Automotive, & 1st United Bank of Faribault.

Barbara Caldwell is the executive director of the River Bend Nature Center, a member supported non-profit dedicated to helping people discover, enjoy, understand and preserve the incredible natural world that surrounds us. Contact her at or 507-332-7151.


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