Guests gather to celebrate final Fisher Fund Wine Tasting and Auction

From left: Vice-President Advancement Jeff O’Hagan, Faculty of Environmental Studies Dean Noël Sturgeon, Dr. Woody Fisher, Valerie Grant and President Designate Rhonda Lenton


Nearly 100 guests gathered at Vaughan Estates on April 19, 2017 to celebrate the 15th and final Fisher Fund Wine Tasting and Auction in support of the Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation at York University. The event was started by Dr. Woody Fisher and Valerie Grant with the support of staff and volunteers of York University’s Division of Advancement and Faculty of Environmental Science.

York University Alumni Association Board Member Al Burton (LLB/MES ‘00) and Guy Burry (BA ‘82)

Over the last 15 years, the event’s generous guests have raised over $1,542,731 to support students and faculty to study, research, and develop strategies to protect biodiversity and promote sustainable development in the Las Nubes biological corridor of Costa Rica. In 1998, Toronto physician Dr. Woody Fisher donated 124 hectares of Costa Rican rainforest to York University. Our faculty and students, along with international partners, conduct valuable research at Las Nubes, and work to protect the region’s biodiversity and promote sustainable development.

Among guests at the event were York University President Designate Rhonda Lenton and Division of Advancement Vice President Jeff O’Hagan.

Boruca mask made in Costa Rica was sold as part of the silent auction.

“This wine tasting and auction has helped provide numerous resources for York University’s faculty and student research,” said O’Hagan. “By raising over $1.5 million for conservation efforts since its inception, this auction has helped support conservation and sustainability efforts in ways that will pay dividends in the future.”

Each year, some of the finest vintages from around the world are auctioned off for a very good cause, and this year saw more than 60 vintage wines auctioned off, bringing the successful event to a historic end. Proceeds from the auction will help support biodiversity protection, rural sustainability and environmental education.

James Love and Dr. Woody Fisher

“Thanks to the incredible support of so many people – many of whom are here tonight – the wine auction has remained an important source of funding for the Las Nubes project,” said Lenton. “Not only have you – our supporters – helped us educate the next generation of environmental leaders at York, you have collectively played a significant role in our commitment to sustainability.”