Public relations were managed by the science-focused firm Evergreen & Company (formerly Crabtree + Company), and we thank them for their tireless work in promoting this historic event.


The evening event took place at Clyde’s of Gallery Place in Washington, DC, made possible through our board member and restaurant owner Sally Davidson. In October 2018, Sally’s commitment to conservation was recognized through the naming of a new-to-science coffee plant species from a Rainforest Trust reserve in Latin America.


The auction e-commerce site Invaluable.com sponsored the fundraiser through highlighting Rainforest Trust on their website, where they feature the world’s premier auctions and galleries.


The Species Legacy Auction was also sponsored by Indianapolis-based Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC), a premium fair trade chocolate company that supports conservation efforts worldwide by “giving back” 10% of their profits annually. The company is a Chairman-level member of our Conservation Circle corporate giving program, donating proceeds to Rainforest Trust projects since 2016.

We also honored ESC’s CEO Curt Vander Meer with an award recognizing his leadership in conservation as part of our 30th Anniversary Celebration on December 8th. The award given to Vander Meer recognizes not only his conservation leadership at ESC, but his dedication to global environmental sustainability. Vander Meer is a passionate conservationist, and along with his wife Lisa, purchased the naming rights to a Colombian frog during our Species Legacy Auction. They named the amphibian Pristimantis chocolatebari in honor of ESC and their commitment to high-quality, sustainably sourced chocolates.


Freeman’s of Philadelphia, the oldest auction house in the country, sponsored the event, and their Chairman and enthusiastic auctioneer Alasdair Nichol ran the show, encouraging Rainforest Trust supporters to bid. Nichol’s expertise is fine arts, and he said the event was a highlight of his career because it is not often one gets to auction off the rights to name newly discovered species.