Colorado State’s Raptor Program Hosts Eighth Annual Benefit Auction Featuring Food, Jazz and Rare 18th Century Artwork

The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program will host the ninth annual Benefit Auction, "A Second Chance at Freedom," from 5-10 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Canyon West and Columbine rooms of the Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St. in Fort Collins. Proceeds will benefit the rehabilitation of injured eagles, hawks and owls and enhance public environmental education programs. Tickets are $20.

The event will feature an evening of live jazz performed by the Dave Lunn Trio and a very special auction item: a unique print by English artist George Edwards dating from the mid 18th century. The print, donated by Roper Antiques and Appraisal of Fort Collins, is estimated at a value of $575.

"What makes this such a rare print is the fact that it is hand-colored," said Mary Roper, who purchased the print as part of a collection during a buying trip to Philadelphia. "Prints weren’t hand-colored until the 18th century. This is a copperplate engraving of a crowned eagle, done on hand-made rag paper sometime between 1750 and 1760. It is a stunning work of art. Quite rare."

An image of the print, along with other auction items, appears on the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program website at

Guests can participate in a silent auction from 5-8:30 p.m. A live auction, with auctioneers Jack Salisbury and Bill Seaworth, will begin at 7 p.m. Other auction items include watercolor paintings, wood carvings, etchings and bronzes by local artists Dawn Weimer, Dan Ostermiller, Sandy Scott, Dick Pillmore and Bob O’Rourke. Other items and services have been donated by local businesses.

Tickets are available at the Raptor Program office or from Raptor volunteers by calling (970) 491-0398 or by visiting the Web site

Tickets also may be purchased at the door. Reserved tables of ten, or seating for groups of 6 or more, may only be available through advance ticket sales.