Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

The Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner: Celebrating collaborative environmental work

This post was written by Emma Oschrin, 2014 Project Specialist.

Quentin Lawrence, Steve Parmenter, Nancee Murray, and Geoff McQuilkin with the Andrea Lawrence Award after the dinner. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

As the Mono Lake Committee says goodbye to winter and truly begins to gear up for the summer season, the Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner serves as a marker for the turning of a new leaf. Before the dinner, our staff focuses on fundraisers such as the Wild & Scenic Film Festival–Los Angeles, and creates a beautiful Mono Lake calendar for the following year. After the dinner, the office is buzzing with news of the soon-to-be-arriving seasonal staff and plans for the Bird Chautauqua. The Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner is a bookend to winter and spring and when the event is finished, we get into full-on summer mode.

The dinner, held at Parallax Restaurant on Mammoth Mountain, honors Andrea Mead Lawrence and is a fundraiser for the Andrea Lawrence Fund, which promotes and celebrates passionate engagement in community and the land with an emphasis on encouraging collaboration and inspiring youth to become environmental leaders.

Guests mingle as appetizers are served before dinner.

After guests braved their way up the mountain in a blustery gondola ride, they mingled while enjoying appetizers and wine.

The Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner has become known as bit of a reunion dinner, both among the Lawrence family as well as for friends from around the area.

Dinner began with opening remarks from Andrea’s daughter Quentin Lawrence.

In order to make it to Parallax Restaurant, guests had to brave the windy gondola ride up the mountain.

Since this dinner fell on a winter Olympic year, we showed footage of Andrea’s gold medal runs in the 1952 Olympics. In order to commemorate Andrea both as an environmental champion and as an Olympian, we also showed interview footage of Andrea in which she discussed the significance of the Eastern Sierra and the importance of having a meaningful life after no longer being a professional athlete. The room was full of memories and heartfelt stories about Andrea.

Guests in Parallax Restaurant on Mammoth Mountain ready for an evening of good food and shared memories.

As the dinner was coming to a close, Geoff McQuilkin, the Mono Lake Committee’s Executive Director and emcee for the evening, presented the Andrea Lawrence Award to the California Department of Fish &Wildlife (DFW). The award was given to the DFW for its dedicated work to achieve the 2013 Mono Basin Stream Restoration Agreement. Department of Fish &Wildlife staff Steve Parmenter and Nancee Murray were in attendance to accept the award.

Quentin Lawrence welcomed everyone to the event, held in her mother’s honor.

Although the view of Mt. Andrea Lawrence was unfortunately shrouded by the clouds, guests lingered after dessert to catch up and reminisce about Andrea.

Guests enjoyed dinner as they watched footage of Andrea’s legendary Olympic ski runs.

This event would not be possible without the continued support of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, which generously hosts the dinner and donates the food and beverages. Additionally, we owe thanks to the Lawrence family as well as the dinner guests. We wouldn’t have a dinner to put on without all of you!

Geoff McQuilkin presents the Andrea Lawrence Award to California Department of Fish & Wildlife staff Nancee Murray and Steve Parmenter. Photos by Santiago Escruceria.

We would love to have you join us for the next Andrea Lawrence Award Dinner—keep an eye here for more information!