Highlights of the Night
A crowd of more than 120 people gathered at the Racquet and Tennis Club in New York City on May 3 to celebrate AMFF’s fiftieth anniversary at our annual dinner and auction. Leadership Circle guests were graciously welcomed to the cocktail reception hosted by AMFF Heritage Award recipient Paul Volcker and his wife, Anke. Attendees were able to enjoy a drink or two on a sultry evening and peruse a plethora of auction items kindly donated to benefit the museum.
AMFF Izaak Walton Award recipient James Prosek was a warm, thoughtful, and humorous master of ceremonies who also recited “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by William Butler Yeats. He recognized AMFF former and current trustees, award winners, ambassadors, and Anglers’ Circle members in attendance, and was even able to acknowledge two of the original AMFF board members in the audience: Leigh Perkins and Ted Rogowski.
The live auction was both entertaining and lively under the gavel of museum friend and advisor Nick Dawes from Heritage Auctions. An especially touching moment occurred when longtime trustee Foster Bam made a very generous bid on—then donated back to the museum’s collection—a fiftieth-anniversary watercolor painted by Deputy Director Yoshi Akiyama.
Prosek then went on to introduce the featured speakers. AMFF ambassador Rebekka Redd—acclaimed traveling fly angler and CEO and founder of North Shore Women’s Fly Fishing Association—took the podium to talk about how fly fishing has shaped and influenced her. “Just as my history in this world grounds and gives me roots, so does the American Museum of Fly Fishing and our fly-fishing history,” she said. “The museum is celebrating fifty years of looking back, a strong and incredible collection of where our sport comes from, and where it’s going. We embrace our history so we can confidently welcome our future. Most of us strive to live in the now. We strive to forget the past, to not worry about the future, and to focus on living in the moment. But how do we know where we are going without understanding the history of the things, people, and places we love the most? By looking to the past, we can better understand the present and predict the future.”
Two AMFF Heritage Award recipients addressed the crowd. First Lady of Fly Fishing Joan Wulff received three standing ovations as she shared her thoughts on a lifetime of angling. Writer and publisher Nick Lyons, who gave an address in 1993 to celebrate our twenty-fifth year, spoke eloquently and lyrically about the museum.
The evening culminated in a very special announcement. AMFF Trustee (and former president) Richard Tisch pledged up to $100,000 in matching funds for gifts made to our endowment by our October 2018 members meeting. Please click here to make a donation.
As always, but especially in our fiftieth year, we would like to thank our master of ceremonies James Prosek; speakers Nick Lyons, Rebekka Redd, and Joan Wulff; auctioneer Nick Dawes; honorary event chairs Leigh and Annie Perkins; event committee Gary Grant, Karen Kaplan, Nick Lyons, David Nichols, and Richard Tisch; and the following auction donors and providers who helped make the evening such a success: Yoshi Akiyama, All Waters Fly Fishing & Guide Services, Arms Reach Yacht, Berkshire Rivers, Bighorn Angler and Steve Galletta, Drew Chicone, Mark Comora, Cortland Line Company, Tom Davidson, Nick Dawes, Deerfield Fly Rods, Harry Desmond, Paul Dixon, Douglas Outdoors, E. & J. Gallo Winery, El Pescador, Rachel Finn, FisheWear, Brita Fordice, Adam Franceschini, Sulu Grant, Luther Hall, Jim Heckman, Icy Palmer Candle Co., J. H. Becker Rodworks, Johnson Outdoors, Karen Kaplan, Carmine Lisella, Walter Matia, Ocean Reef Club, Orvis, Flip Pallot, REC Components, Restigouche River Lodge, Roger Riccardi, Rio Products, Royal Wulff Products, Frances Sargent, Scientific Anglers, Taf Schaefer Designs, Thomas & Thomas, Three Forks Ranch, Tightlines Jewelry, Wild Rivers Press, George Van Hook, and Joan Wulff.
Celebrating 50 Years
Take a look at some highlights of the museum's first 50 years.
Our favorite shots from the night. All photos by Jack McCoy.
- Leigh & Annie Perkins (Honorary Chairs)
- Gary Grant
- Karen Kaplan
- Nick Lyons
- David Nichols
- Richard Tisch