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Elachee reschedules Flights of Fancy for October to increase chances of gathering in person
The Elachee Nature Science Center

Elachee Nature Science Center’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Flights of Fancy Benefit and Auction, has been rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23. 

The nonprofit made the announcement, Friday, Feb. 19, explaining the switch from spring to fall would increase its chances of being able to host the gathering safely outside. Elachee intends to use its outdoor patio and balcony for the event with limited seating.

The fundraiser was held online last year and raised $123,000 through donations and sponsorships. 

“Last spring, because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly altered the event’s format to provide a live virtual experience, and we had tremendous success,” Phil Bonelli, 2021 master of ceremonies, said in a press release. “However, nothing compares to getting together in person.”

Mandi Whiting, Elachee trustee and chair of the 2021 Flights of Fancy Volunteer Host Committee, expressed her thoughts on returning to meeting in person for the fundraiser. She said she feels as though the true value of Flights of Fancy is in the “unique experience attendees have when they are exposed to the beauty and magic of Elachee.”

“Nothing beats visiting the nature center in person to fully grasp what an incredible place this is,” Whiting stated. “I know I enjoy bringing my friends, plus sponsors always get so excited around Flights’ time in anticipation of mingling with others under the trees and stars.”

Flights of Fancy Benefit and Auction

What: Elachee’s annual fundraiser

When: 6-9:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23

Where: Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville

More info:

People can gain admission exclusively through sponsorships, ranging from $300 to $2,500 with tiered benefits and recognition. 

The annual auction will be held online, including nature-inspired and eco-friendly items and experiences. Donations for the auction are accepted until the end of August 2021. 

Proceeds raised at Flights of Fancy will support Elachee’s efforts in promoting environmental understanding through education and conservation. The money will also help initiatives in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, one of Georgia’s largest protected green spaces. 

This year's presenting sponsor is Northside Hospital.

To purchase a sponsorship, submit a commitment pledge or for more information, visit

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