Harvest Moon Banquet and Auction

September 29, 5 p.m. – Helena Civic Center – Helena, Montana

Celebrate the outdoors and conservation in our community with a night of music, drinks, dining, and a high-stakes auction. Prickly Pear Land Trust invites you to the annual Harvest Moon Banquet and Auction at the Helena Civic Center Ballroom on Saturday, September 29th, 2018.

When the doors open, Cottonwood Club, Helena’s own gypsy jazz quintet, will be slingin’ swing string tunes straight out of the age of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. Enjoy a variety of hors-d’oeuvres while you peruse the silent auction replete with outdoor getaways, artisan works, adventure equipment, and more. Then grab wine, a specialty cocktail, or a local craft beer on your way to the ballroom for a delightful culinary experience to celebrate what you love, with great friends!

The action on-stage starts off with a PPLT highlight reel of the year’s big conservation victories and outdoor recreation projects. It’s been a wonderful year with many reasons to celebrate. Harvest Moon will then culminate in the live auction with a great list of top-notch auction items and unique experiences with you in mind. The nearly 500 spots sell out before the event. So iron those Wranglers or pull out the tux.

Thanks to our 2018 incredible and generous local businesses and individual sponsors, each and every dollar in proceeds directly supports PPLT’s mission of community conservation, private land conservation, and trails.

The Harvest Moon Room is almost full!

At this time we are only taking reservations over the phone. 406-442-0490 Thank you so much for the outpouring of support!

Single reservations are $75 and tables of eight are $600.

Get 1 of the 100 Golden Raffle Tickets

What’s a Golden Raffle Ticket, you ask? It’s the opportunity to throw your hat in the ring for your pick of any one of the eight, truly unique Harvest Moon live auction items… but act now! There are only 100 tickets, and they’ll be gone quickly. Can’t make it to the Harvest Moon Banquet and Auction this year? Not a problem. Purchase your $100 ticket by calling the PPLT office (406-442-0490) or swing by to say hello at 40 W. Lawrence St., Ste. A. The drawing will take place on September 29 at the event, and you need not be present to win. Item choices detailed below.

Please note that Montana law requires that raffle tickets be purchased with cash or check.

And the 2018 Live Auction Items Are...

  1. Fly Fishing on the Blackfoot

Donors: Orvis, PRO Outfitters, A.L. Swanson, Malcolm Gilbert

There’s almost nothing more “Montana” than feeling a westslope cutthroat tug your line on the legendary Blackfoot River. Travel through some of Montana’s most iconic landscapes and a prime example of community-driven conservation success on this incredible fly fishing trip for two. Bring along your new Orvis Helios 3 rod and Mirage reel. This four-piece four-weight is perfect for Montana’s streams, rivers and native trout. The package also includes a beautiful  A.L. Swanson-crafted rod tube and wooden fly box. PRO Outfitters’ North Fork Crossing, the only full-service lodge in the Blackfoot valley, will provide you with a night’s rest in their unique tent cabins, and their chef will prepare all three meals for you and your chosen fishing partner. For your day on the water, Malcolm Gilbert will be your personal PRO fly fishing guide.

Please note: Must redeem before the end September 2019.

  1. Winter Adventure in Big Sky

Donors: Big Sky Resort, Lone Mountain Ranch, Olive B’s, Horn & Cantle, Dave & Sandi Ashley

Do it all at Montana’s largest ski resort! The ultimate mountain adventure, world-class lodging and dining await you and three of your friends at Big Sky Resort and Lone Mountain Ranch. Get on the mountain and enjoy the freshest powder before the lifts open to the public with four First Tracks Passes and your own personal ski guide. The hill boasts more than 5,800 skiable acres, 400 inches of annual snowfall and the most incredible views of the Madison, Gallatin and Tobacco Root ranges. Get your heart racing again at Lone Mountain Ranch on their 85 kilometers of woodland nordic trails.

Rest up or party down for three evenings in your luxury two-bedroom, two-bath, Big Sky meadow condominium. Dinner for your party is included, too. Let the lively Olive B’s Bistro entice your taste buds with its blend of Armenian, New York and Montana influences. Spend another evening at Horn & Cantle indulging in their cuisine and warm atmosphere. Horn & Cantle understands the outdoor recreationist and has built its farm-to-table menu to appeal to an appetite for adventurous cuisine and a cozy evening by the fire.

Please note: Must make reservations with all parties and redeem before May 2019.

  1. The Peak of Rodney Ridge Trail – Original Painting by Leah Cupino

Donor: Leah Cupino

Mount Helena as seen from Rodney Ridge. “Sun-soaked and winded trees grip the desperate dry land or crown above the snow. They see the triumph on each summiter’s face.” Leah Cupino’s piece, The Peak of Rodney Ridge Trail, seizes this moment on a 30” x 42” mylar surface. Unlike a traditional canvas, the mysterious and durable material allows her to pursue each and every story through a mix of acrylic, pastel and graphite media. The piece looks on Mount Helena’s back side from the perspective of Rodney Ridge and follows the artist’s favorite trail as it weaves through a visual-sensory experience of depth and color. The work has been expertly framed and UV-sealed to ensure a lifetime of enjoyment.

After her studies at Walla Walla University, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and Virginia Commonwealth University, Leah began her practice in her downtown Helena studio and classroom, The Art Space. Helena’s natural surroundings often serve as inspiration for her work as she spends as much time as she can squeezing out a little of what life has to offer with her young family in Montana’s great outdoors.

  1. Getaway to Placid Lake – Serene Weekend at Private Cabin

Donors: Eliza Frazer & Barry Hood, The Base Camp, Dan Bay Catering, Cotton-Top Pastries

Escape for four nights to a secluded cabin on the shores of Placid Lake. The cabin, built in 2005 from logs rescued from a century-old Flathead Valley barn, combines rustic charm with modern trappings to make for an ideal retreat for your party of six to eight. Whether you plan to visit in summer or winter, The Base Camp will equip you and your guests with rental gear to feed your adventurous spirit. Navigate the clean, glassy waters or try yoga or a cannonball off The Base Camp’s stand up paddle boards. Or explore the wintry wildlands of the Seeley-Swan and the groomed trails of the Nordic Center on a top-notch cross-country ski setup.

Begin one of your day’s adventures or practices in leisure with breakfast delicacies fashioned by Cotton-Top Pastries, Helena’s premier patisserie. Dan Bay Catering will help round out an evening by sending an exquisitely prepared dinner along with you. Chef Dan doubles as a cattle rancher whose conservation roots and appreciation for natural beauty have instilled in him a pride for using locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients in all of his culinary endeavors.

Please note: Must redeem before the end of September 2019.

  1. “Sevenmile” – A.L. Swanson Original Hall Table

Donors: A.L. Swanson

Al Swanson has soared to new heights this year. The A.L. Swanson original is a mainstay in our auction and we are elated to announce this year’s piece. Al describes the inspiration behind the table: “After visiting at length with Mary (PPLT’s Executive Director) a while back to discuss the auction and what I might make, she walked me through the Sevenmile Creek restoration, and it is an amazing PPLT project – her passion towards it is well-founded. I knew, after that meeting, that I needed to incorporate that creek somehow in my piece.” While studying the aerial footage of the restoration site on Sevenmile Creek, Al used a new process to carve the footprint of the stream into the beautifully crafted tabletop. Sevenmile, a custom A.L. Swanson Hall Table, is made of figured maple, ebonized ash and an inlay of colored epoxy resin.

Please note: Not available for the Golden Ticket Raffle.

  1. Montana-inspired Concert, Cocktails, and Dinner for Eight

Donors: Philip Aaberg of Sweetgrass Music, Jeff Spurlin, Gulch Distillers

Grammy- and Emmy-nominated composer and musician, Philip Aaberg, invites you and seven friends to join him at his home on Hauser Lake for a beautiful evening of original music inspired by Montana’s agricultural history, landscape and native cultures. Jeff Spurlin, one of Helena’s most treasured chefs, co-hosts the evening by preparing one of his classic gourmet dinners. The ensemble is complemented with cocktails conceived and served by Gulch Distillers – Helena’s own micro-distillery, located in the historic Montana Distilling and Bottling Warehouse and producing spirits exclusively with Montana grains.

Before his award-winning career in composition and the start of his label, Sweetgrass Music, named for his Chester, Montana roots,  Philip Aaberg played in various symphonies and San Francisco blues clubs, touring in between with Peter Gabriel and recording with the the Doobie Brothers, Kenny Rogers and Vince Gill. Philip Aaberg’s “audible portrait” of Montana is inspired by and reflects the dramatic beauty of the open western landscape, and he looks forward to sharing this unique perspective with you.

Please note: Must redeem before the end of September 2019.

  1. Set of Dinner Plates by Sarah Jaeger

Donors: Sarah Jaeger

Take home eight hand-built earthenware dinner plates, each painted with its own unique design and glazed with majolica. For three decades, ceramic artist Sarah Jaeger has made pottery for the Helena community and various collections throughout the U.S. Alongside her career in ceramics, she has been a devoted PPLT supporter, joining the land trust when PPLT was still a fledgling organization, guiding its efforts as it protected local lands, and becoming the voice for our recent Community Conservation initiative.

This particular set of dinner plates, prepared specifically for PPLT’s Harvest Moon Auction, is the first of Sarah’s new series of work to be sold publicly. Over the last year, Sarah has begun utilizing a new low-tech method in her work. She begins with a slab of clay, then a coil, and forms it entirely by hand, using only minimal tools before finally completing each plate. While Sarah takes painstaking measures to create a comprehensive set, the process creates very minor character differences. As Sarah says, “Like a family, they`re each individual but related to each other.”

Please note: Not available for the Golden Ticket Raffle.

  1. Progressive Dinner along Sevenmile Creek Restoration

Donors: Prickly Pear Land Trust Board and Staff

Prickly Pear Land Trust is excited to treat 10 lucky folks to a culinary adventure along our restoration project at Sevenmile Creek. The 350+-acre Sevenmile Creek property is the site of work that will reinvigorate a natural ecosystem and bring a key stream in the Helena valley back to health. Rare shorebirds and waterfowl have already begun to return to the creek and ponds, and now is the time to see the 2,800 feet of rebuilt stream so that you can watch as native vegetation takes root and wildlife returns. Not yet open to the public, you can play a major role in the protection of this resource while also taking pleasure in an exquisite meal along the tranquil banks of the creek. At each phase of the project, PPLT staff and board will greet you with another phase of your multi-course meal. Enjoy the songs of the meadowlarks as you sip wine among the willows, then head downstream to sample hors d’oeuvres while overlooking the newly established wetlands, and sit down to your feast in the presence of gentle creek meanders at the most recent phase of the project, all completed in 2017 and 2018.

Please note: Must redeem before the end of September 2019.

  1. Create a Legacy Landscape – A Custom Carolyn Caldwell Painting

Donors: Carolyn Caldwell, The Hawthorn

Imagine choosing your favorite landscape, a place that holds treasured, shared memories, then visiting that location with award-winning artist Carolyn Caldwell. Explore with the artist different times of day and perhaps different seasons to discover the perfect character and mood of your special place. Select from her studies a version of your scene to become an 18” x 24” canvas in either oil or pastel. Caldwell’s style, powerful in its simplicity, seeks to “define the quality of light and color to touch something deep inside us.”

When the scene has been put to canvas, The Hawthorn Wine Bar and Tasting Room will host a private unveiling party for 20 people. Jill Roberts, The Hawthorn co-owner and sommelier, will curate a selection of wines inspired by Carolyn’s painting for an exclusive wine tasting for you and your friends. Ms. Roberts will commit her wealth of experience and knowledge to find the perfect pairing for what is sure to be another breathtaking Carolyn Caldwell piece.

Please Note: Private party at The Hawthorn must take place on a Monday before September 2019.

  1. Argentine Night in Helena for Twelve

Donors: Tango Helena, Murry’s Cafe, George’s Distributing

Immerse yourself in another culture. Let Tango Helena, Murry’s Cafe and George’s Distributing lead you through an evening of Argentine dancing and dining. Tango Helena, the center of South American dance for Helena and beyond, will treat 12 people to a private Tango class replete with sangria, appetizers and top-notch instruction. From there, you and your party will saunter over to Murry’s where a private, four-course Argentine dinner awaits. For a decade, Murry’s has been fine-tuning recipes from around the world. Each course has been carefully planned to make certain it delights each of your guests and stays true to the original Argentine methods. George’s Distributing, the Montana-based, Montana-serving purveyor of fine wines, beer and cider, will pull a premier selection of Argentine wines to pair with the occasion.

Please note: Must redeem before the end of September 2019.

Photos from last year's Harvest Moon Banquet


Photos by Jason O’Neil

If you would like to donate an item or experience to one of our silent auctions, please follow this link to the donation form. Thank you for your generous consideration!

Thanks to our 2018 sponsors!

Blue Moon Presenting Sponsor

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