Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE NOTE: The location for Jeans & Jewels 2018 has changed.

Due to the weather forecast, we have decided to move the event from the Blandford Farm to the main Blandford Nature Center campus. Our social hour activities will all take place inside the Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center – bar service, silent auction, wine pull, and “Diamond in the Rough” project. Dinner will be outside the front doors in a large tent. This change ensures we can run the event rain or shine. It will also provide us all some respite from any mosquitoes.


Whether you are brand new to Blandford’s gala or a long-time attendee, there are some things you may want to know.

Attire

This is pretty simple. The dress code is Jeans & Jewels. Be comfortable – we’re a nature center! If you are coming straight from work, be sure to remove your tie before anyone sees it. We strongly suggest shoes that are able to be worn comfortably on grass or woodchipped areas.

Menu

A delicious buffet featuring many locally sourced, farm fresh foods will be provided by Vault Catering. Come hungry!

  • Slider Bar featuring Assorted Rolls, Sauces & BBQs with:
    • Shredded Ancho Chili Braised Beef Brisket (GF, DF)
    • Shredded Smoked Chicken (GF, DF)
    • Shredded Apple Glazed Pork Tenderloin (GF, DF)
  • Garlic Smashed Yukon Gold Potatoes (V) 
  • Macaroni & Cheese (V)
  • Green Beans (GF, DF, V)
  • Roasted Root Vegetable (GF, DF, V)
  • Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread (GF, V)
  • Seasonal Fruit Display (GF, DF, V)

Your salad and dessert will be pre-set at your table, so hurry over to the tent right at 7:00pm and get started. We won’t tell if you eat dessert first! 

  • Shaved Vegetable Salad (GF, DF, V)
  • Alternating Desserts:
    • Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce and Berry Garnish (V)
    • Fresh Fruit Cobbler (V)

KEY: (GF) Gluten Free; (DF) Dairy Free; (V) Vegetarian 

If you have dietary restrictions that will not allow you to enjoy the food provided on the buffet, please let us know ASAP. Email jeansandjewels@blandfordnaturecenter.org. 

Parking

PLEASE NOTE: The location for Jeans & Jewels 2018 has changed. Effective 9/18, we have moved the event from the Blandford Farm to the Main Blandford Nature Center Campus. The address is 1715 Hillburn Drive NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504. If you accidentally drive to the Farm, there will be volunteers directing guests back to the main campus.

Complimentary valet parking will be available at the event. As you pull into the main campus lot at the end of the long Blandford driveway, a volunteer will offer you a choice: self-park or valet park. If you decide to valet, an Ellis Parking representative will serve you. Otherwise, the volunteer will direct you to a parking spot. Self-parking will be limited. After the lot is full, all guests will be asked to valet.

Check-In

When you arrive at the main campus, please go immediately to the Check-in Station to receive your name tag, bid paddle, and table assignments – and THEN you can proceed to have fun while getting a drink at the bar, bidding on the silent auction packages, and trying your luck at the Wine Pull! With the site change, all the social hour activities will now be taking place inside the Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center.

Program

6:00 pm to 6:45 pm | Social Hour with Wine Pull, Silent Auction, and “Diamond in the Rough” project
7:00 pm | Welcome
7:05 pm | Dinner provided by Vault Catering
7:35 pm to 9:00 pm | Program – Vision from CEO Jason Meyer, Live Auction,  and “Fund the Need” Auction

Bidding

We will have an amazing line-up of silent and live auction items just waiting to go home with the highest bidder! Don’t walk away from the event regretting that you missed out on some of the great opportunities that we’ll present to you.  Closer to the event, an auction catalog will be posted so can you can learn what will be offered.

Use your bid number at each station to make purchases throughout the evening.

Check-Out

If you win an auction item, get a bottle of wine, or make a 100% tax-deductible donation during our Fund the Need auction, you will need to go to Check-Out at the end of the evening to pay for your purchases with check, cash or credit card. All tangible items will be given to you at this point.

Weather

We have had the good fortune of great weather over the past 6 years of Jeans & Jewels, but we all know that Michigan weather can change quickly. Please be prepared with sweaters, jackets, and umbrellas if the forecast changes. We will host the event rain or shine!

If severe weather if forecasted for the day of the event, Blandford reserves the right to cancel the Gala. Safety of guests, staff and volunteers is our primary concern. Refunds will not be offered. If you have questions about this policy, contact us at: jeansandjewels@blandfordnaturecenter.org.

If we need to keep mosquitoes at bay, we will have a bug spray station available for anyone that would like to use it.

UPDATE: Our good fortune may have run dry this year… or rather wet. With rain in the forecast for much of the week, we’ve moved Jeans & Jewels to our main campus. The social hour will be indoors and the dinner will be under our tent. We do recommend bringing a rain coat or umbrella for any short walks between spaces. We also highly recommend long pants and long sleeves to help keep any mosquitoes at bay.

Why Should I Attend?

When you attend Blandford Nature Center’s Jeans & Jewels Gala, you are helping to foster a new generation of environmentalists and naturalists. The funds raised at the event will go to Blandford’s outdoor environmental education, wildlife, land stewardship and farming programs. Your support helps us further our mission to engage and empower the community through enriching experiences in nature.

Thank You for Your Support!

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