Ducks Unlimited hosts local banquet
By Nick Nunn
The 2012 Morgan County Ducks Unlimited Banquet was held last Thursday at the James Madison Conference Center. Seventy-seven people attended, both new and renewed members. This year, Ducks Unlimited celebrates its 75th anniversary.
The main events for the evening were the silent auction, the verbal auction, and the raffle, all of which were designed to help raise money for Ducks Unlimited, whose mission statement is, “Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people."
All of the people that put the event together were volunteers for Ducks Unlimited.
During the first part of the evening, attendees were invited to look over the silent auction items, which included a variety of Ducks Unlimited products. Among the items were a jumbo flask, a cornhole set, cutlery, liquor sets, and a book on the history of Ducks Unlimited.
Throughout the night, raffle tickets were sold for the biggest-ticket items of the night, a tripod deer feeder, a selection of shotguns and rifles, and the 75th Anniversary Ducks Unlimited Shotgun.
As the night wore on, the pages for the silent auction items and the raffle baskets began to fill up.
After an hour, there was a dinner held, which was catered by Crowe’s BBQ. Members ate in the room where the live auction was to be held, while the silent auction items were gathered in the other room.
With the meal over, the meeting came together. Three Ducks Unlimited vests were given away, as well as a certificate for $100 off on a gun-dipping.
Before the verbal auction, J. Gordon Reynolds, chairman of the Morgan County chapter, and Scott James, regional director of Ducks Unlimited, gave speeches, thanking everyone for their donations to Ducks Unlimited.
Lewis Tonsmeire was the emcee for the verbal auction, which was comprised of 22 items and packages, ranging from framed prints of artwork done by famed Ducks Unlimited artists to a one-night stay at the James Madison Inn’s Luxury King Room, complete with a couple’s massage.
To end the evening, the raffle drawings were done, giving out the final prizes of the night to the lucky winners.
This year, the Morgan County chapter of Ducks Unlimited rasised about $8,000 dollars at the banquet.
The funds raised are sent to the Ducks Unlimited national offices for redistribution.
“Eighty one percent of the money raised goes directly into wetlands and education,” stated Reynolds.
“Only three cents of every dollar raised goes to administrative fees.”
The remaining 16 percent goes into fundraisers, according to Reynolds.
Ducks Unlimited plans mainly Habitat Restoration Projects for wetlands that have been in need for longer periods of time, but also react quickly when natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, destroy wetlands.
Ducks Unlimited would like to thank all of the individuals and companies that support their wetland conservation efforts by contributing time and money to the cause.
Printed in the October 11, 2012