As the sun set over Chehaw Thursday night, the wildlife may have gone to sleep, but the party animals there were definitely not ready to hit the hay. More than 300 people showed up for the annual "Walk on the Wildside" fundraising event on Thursday.
Music, food, drinks and a silent auction made for an entertaining and fun-filled atmosphere.
Friends of Chehaw organizes the event to raise money for Chehaw's Wild Animal Park and the BMX bike track. Last year the group raised more than $8,000 for Chehaw; their goal this year is $12,000.
"Once they put this on, they'll take in all the money, pay out whatever expenses they have to be paid out and the rest of it goes to Chehaw," says Chehaw Parks Executive Director Doug Porter. "We don't know how much yet, of course, but it'll be several thousand dollars that'll be coming back to support the park."
Not only does this fundraiser benefit Chehaw Parks, it's also benefits local restaurants.
"The restaurants get a lot of advertisement out of this and with all of the advertising that goes on before the event and during the event, it's a great win-win for the whole community and not just Chehaw," says President of Friends of Chehaw Liz Gray.
People who attend the event can't chose just one activity at "Walk on the Wildside" that's their favorite, but they do agree on one thing: They love Chehaw Parks.
While Friends of Chehaw members and employees at Chehaw Parks say they're excited to see so many people out supporting the park, they also say it's great seeing people enjoying themselves.
"This is a great opportunity for people that don't have children to come out and see the park; those that do remember it as an evening out without the kids," says Gray.