Raccoon River Valley Trail Association fundraiser Saturday

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A highlight of the 2018 Raccoon River Valley Trail Association banquet came when Tom Maxwell, left, owner of the Hotel Pattee in Perry, presented a $10,000 donation to Dallas County Conservation Board Director Mike Wallace. The 2019 event is Saturday night at the West Des Moines Marriott Hotel. Photo courtesy RRVTA


The 12th annual banquet of the Raccoon River Valley Trail Association (RRVTA) will be held Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Marriott Hotel in West Des Moines. The banquet is the association’s one fundraising event of the year.

Kevin Cooney, longtime trail supporter and retired KCCI anchor, will be the master of ceremonies for the evening. Cooney said he is “looking forward to another great night.”

The event kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with a social hour. A sit-down meal of herb and garlic roasted pork loin, mustarda de fruiti, and asiago dauphinoise potatoes will be served at 5:30 p.m. and chocolate overload will be offered for dessert.

The speaker and live auction festivities will begin at 7 p.m. to close out the night. Auction highlights this season include a weekend package from the Hotel Pattee complete with a Chef’s Table Dining Experience for 10 people, numerous bike related items, and fantastic donations from local businesses and artisans.

The fundraising evening will end with the traditional and always popular Tyson Fresh Meats pork loin bidding.

This year the main speaker for the event is Jeff Johnson, president and CEO of the Iowa State University Alumni Association since September 1999. With more than 30 years of higher education experience, Johnson wears many hats in overseeing all Alumni Association programs.

Johnson is secretary to the Stanton Memorial Carillon Foundation, publisher of all Alumni Association publications, an ex-officio member and officer to the Alumni Association Board of Directors, a member of the President’s Cabinet and the Alumni Association’s liaison to the university and its affiliate organizations. In 2015, he became the first Lora and Russ Talbot Endowed President and CEO.

The RRVTA supports the advertising, website, social media and other promotion of the 89-mile paved trail that connects communities throughout central Iowa. The trail system is used by hundreds of thousands of people every year coming from all over Iowa, across the nation and beyond.

Individual tickets can be purchased for $50 each or tables of eight can be reserved for $500. for more information or to buy tickets for the banquet online,visit the RRVTA website.

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