Wild Turkey Federation Banquet largest in history

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 11, 2000

More than 250 area residents crowded into the Butler County Fairground pavilion on Thursday, March 9, for the Butler County chapter of The National Wild Turkey Federation's eighth annual Superfund Membership Banquet and organizers are saying it was one of the most successful events in the program's history.

NWTF Butler County President Steve Lee said the banquet gives area residents the chance to not only help support the organization's commitment to preserving wildlife and habitat, but also to get a chance to socialize, win some valuable prizes

and bid on merchandise that is only available through the NWTF.

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"We were very pleased with the turn out this year and everyone seemed to have a great time," he said. "This event is the single fundraiser we do each year and we really appreciate the support of members of this community."

Lee said that more than $14,000 was raised during the event, and the money will be used to support national and local programs for the NWTF.

"Our local program for children, which we call JAKES, gives us the chance to help kids interested in the outdoors understand how precious our natural resources are," he said. "It also introduces the kids to safe hunting practices and how to reduce the human impact on the environment."

The NWTF supports scientific wildlife management of public, private and corporate lands and the traditional American sport of hunting. The organization is committed to preserving every citizen's right to enjoy clean air and water and an aesthetically pleasing outdoor environment.

The catered meal of smoked and deep-fried turkey was provided by the Greenville Jaycees.

"We usually pay about $1,000 each year for catering so this year we decided we should give that money to a local civic organization to help them raise funds for their own charitable programs," Lee said. He said the turkeys for the event were provided by Bates House of Turkey in Greenville, and that he appreciates the support of all local sponsors.

Attendants paid $40 per person, or $60 per couple, to attend the banquet, and were treated to not only the meal, but also to a silent auction, a live auction, and the chance to win valuable door prizes and participate in a raffle. A number of quality items were given away during the event, including seven shotguns and other hunting related products, and those in attendance bid on other products that are only available at NWTF banquets.

"Some of the items sold at the auction went for hundreds of dollars," Lee said. "These items are produced in limited numbers for the federation and are very valuable because they can't be purchased anywhere else."

Those in attendance were given a year's membership in the NWTF as part of the admission price, but Lee said a membership in the organization is available year round.

"Memberships are $25 per year and include a subscription to the federation's national publication," he said. "Anyone who missed the banquet can still become a member by contacting the local chapter."

The National Wild Turkey Federation is a national, nonprofit, educational conservation organization comprised of state and local affiliates working for the restoration and wise management of the American wild turkey and other valuable natural resources. These dedicated groups are combined into one organization for the purpose of improving the quality of the environment and conserving wildlife.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the NWTF can contact Lee at his place of business at 383-9734.