Ducks Unlimited banquet and auction held at Sturgis

Ducks Unlimited Canada hosted its annual East Central Flyway fall banquet and fundraising auction on November 1 at the Sturgis Community Hall with many raffles, and silent and live auction prizes.

Travis Behning of Regina, fundraising manager for Ducks Unlimited, welcomed everyone to a fun night of games and fundraising.

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"The goal and focus for tonight is to raise funds and awareness for conservation of wetlands, water, wildlife and the ecosystem," said Behning. "The Ducks Unlimited mission is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl.

“These habitats benefit other wildlife, people and our environment,” he said. “We partner with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to get our work done so we can connect people to nature and make a healthier world for future generations. Volunteer support is what makes Ducks Unlimited such a success. Last year the Sturgis event was the best fall banquet with raising the highest amount in history. All funds raised completely stay in the province and are used to help fund local organizations,” said Behning.

Behning also acknowledged Carla Keller with a special 20 years of volunteering plaque.

Ken McCulloch was the auctioneer for the evening. Six Pack Catering catered the banquet and proceeds from the bar were allotted towards Sturgis Minor Ball.

The evening featured bucket raffles, basketball, poker darts, antler toss, football toss and plinko.

The high-flyer auction featured 15 stand/deck coolers being auctioned off and the winner received his or her choice of one of the following items: a Las Vegas trip, a pit boss 8-in-1 smoker, elk ridge resort package, high flyer gun banner, Celine Dion concert package or a Banjo Bowl package.

Other raffles included a shooter raffle with a chance to win a Ducks Unlimited army pedal car, a Tri-Star Cobra 12-gauge pump shotgun, Saskatchewan Rush lacrosse package, Hillberg and Berk jewelry set or a regular gun banner. The big 4 raffle featured the opportunity to win a recliner swivel rocker, a Tri-Star Raptor 12 gauge semi-automatic, a Honda lawnmower or a “Morning Warm-Up” Terry Redlin print.

The 2019 Ducks Unlimited committee members are: Carla and Perry Keller, Kristen and Conrad Peterson, Jean Babiuk, Craig Folk, Kim and Derek Ryczak, Brooke Keller, Brayden Ganson, Justin Keller, Ashley Ward, Andrea Tonn and Evan Steppan.

"Ducks Unlimited has been working hard for 80 years to save Canada’s wetlands. These sloughs, ponds, marshes and bogs play a critical role in maintaining the health of our environment, our economy and our lifestyle. Wetlands are one of the most important ecosystems on the planet, but up to 70 per cent of wetlands have been lost in settled areas of Canada. More are lost every day," said Behning.

“Our mission is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl,” stated the Ducks Unlimited website. “These habitats benefit other wildlife, people and our environment. We partner with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to get our work done so we can connect people to nature and make a healthier world for future generations.

“Since 1938, we’ve completed more than 11,890 projects and conserved, restored and positively influenced more than 163.5 million acres of habitat. Despite our progress, wetlands continue to be lost at an alarming rate. Conserving wetlands and other natural habitats across North America is a challenge. That’s why we bring together a number of approaches to get it done efficiently and effectively,” concluded the website information.