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Banquet To Support Area Ducks Unlimited Projects

By Staff | Oct 27, 2011

The upcoming Palo Alto Sportsman’s Ducks Unlimited Fundraising Banquet is coming up on Friday, Nov. 4 at the Emmetsburg VFW with a wide variety of items for the fundraising auction. DU members displaying some of the items are, in back from left to right, Ron Riha, Val Paulsen, Patrick Bailey and Clint Young, along with Brian Garrels, Brody Paulsen and Brice Paulsen. –-Dan Voigt photo

The upcoming 2011 fundraising banquet for the Palo Alto Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will once again be a large part of the ongoing efforts to preserve and restore wetlands and wildlife conservation. The annual banquet is set for Friday night, Nov. 4, at the VFW in Emmetsburg. A social hour will start at 6 p.m., with the banquet to begin at 7 p.m. and auction at 8 p.m.

“Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest wetlands, waterfowl, and wildlife conservation organization,” noted Ron Riha, member of the Palo Alto Ducks Unlimited Chapter “DU has conserved over 12 million acres of wetlands and related waterfowl habitat since 1937. The majority of DU’s revenues are generated through fund-raising events like the Palo Alto Banquet on November 4 at the VFW in Emmetsburg. The funds from our banquet go to support our science-based wetland restoration projects, which are enjoyed by one million supporters and members as well as the general public.”

Each year, the banquet and auction features several exceptional pieces of artwork, and this year is no exception, as the auction will include the solid bronze DU sculpture of the year, “Wave Runners” which depicts two Canvasbacks in flight. Also on the auction block will be the DU Gun-of-the-year, a Beretta AL3901 12ga. semi auto with 3″chamber, which includes a custom silver-polished receiver with floral embellishments and gold inlaid DU logo and “Ducks Unlimited” inscription.

Also on the auction block this year will be more quality firearms from Remington, Mossberg, Henry, Beretta, and TriStar Sporting Arms. Artworks will include “Into the Light”, a canvas by Scot Storm, along with prints by noted wildlife artists McDonald, Zach, Kemp, Crowe, and Hautman.

Other auction items will include incredibly life-like decoys and many more various unique and non-traditional items, such as a DU storage ottoman; DU cutlery set, patchwork quilt, a camouflage guitar, wine rack and table, a true man-sized flask and even a special DU “plumber’s helper” for the “Little Sportsman’s Room.”

Area businesses have donated many items for raffles and the silent auction and much of the DU merchandise offered has been underwritten by donations from local area businesses.

Part of the annual DU Membership banquet is the opportunity to participate in games and raffle opportunities. A special raffle being offered this year as part of the banquet and auction is for a Curtiss 40″ 1080p LCD High Definition TV. Only 100 tickets are being sold for this raffle, and tickets are currently available from any DU committee member. The winner need not be present to win for the television raffle.

Individual tickets will cover your DU membership and a scrumptious meal being catered by the Rack Shack. Couple’s tickets and Greenwing tickets, for youth 17 years and under are also available for the event at special prices.

As an “Early Bird” special, the Palo Alto Sportsmen’s Ducks Unlimited Committee is offering to guests prior to October 31, guests will have the opportunity to double their purchase of raffle tickets. This Early Bird raffle pack includes chances to win one of the many fine quality firearms and other prizes. Deadline to purchase tickets and be eligible to participate in the Early Bird Special is October 31, 2011.

With the proceeds from fundraising events such as the annual membership banquet and auction, DU will raise approx. $1.5 million in the state of Iowa this year. On the national level, DU has budgeted $2.1 million for projects in the state of Iowa for for 2012. Locally, projects are underway or nearing completion at Burr Oak Lake in Emmet County, at DU Marsh, Barringer’s Slough, Lost Island Lake, and Dewey’s Pasture Wetland Complex in Clay and Palo Alto Counties, and at Lizard Lake in Pocahontas County.

As a preview to the annual event, the Palo Alto Sportsmen’s Ducks Unlimited organization will host the Emmetsburg Chamber Coffee at 9:30 am Friday, November 4 at the VFW to allow the public to preview items. The public is encouraged to stop and view the various items that will be offered at the event later that evening.

Tickets are still available for the membership banquet and auction and may be obtained from any DU committee member. Those members include: Ron Riha 852-3818, Clint Young 260-7933, Brian Garrels 298-0882, Andy Stolley 480-5000, Dennie Paulsen 621-6921, Val Paulsen 261-6391, Grant Duhn 298-1185, Jordan Cody 298-1303, Patrick Bailey 563-451-8505, and Eric Schmitz 319-743-5451.