Granby " Ducks Unlimited: ‘It takes more than water to do right for these animals’ | SkyHiNews.com

Granby " Ducks Unlimited: ‘It takes more than water to do right for these animals’

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

The local chapter of Ducks Unlimited is excited about its reinvigorated spring banquet April 26.

“We’re bumping it up a bit this year,” said Erik Wettersten, Grand County Ducks Unlimited committee member since 2002.

The event takes place at the Base Camp Lodge at the bottom of SolVista Ski Basin, southeast of downtown Granby and benefits the national organization of Ducks Unlimited, its projects and programs.

The evening begins with cocktails, starting at 6 p.m. Dinner follows at 7:30 p.m. Once bellies are full, it is time for the entertainment to take flight, with festivities to include chance drawings, silent and live auctions and games.

Supporters of the local group may buy chances for $20 for a sheet of five tickets. Items include drills, a bottle of Scotch and art.

The games, which cost about $10 to enter, also include chances at some big prizes. There’s a dice game, a Pluck-a-Duck golf-tee draw, and a card game. Ducks Unlimited of Grand County is also pleased to offer several special events for the 17 and younger crowd as part of its “Greenwing Program.”

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For the adults, live auction highlights include “a smattering” of items, including prints, paintings, sculptures and other high-end art, guided hunting and fishing trips and vacation packages, as well as several quality firearms: A Beretta white onyx over/under shotgun, a Mossberg 4×4 center-fire rifle and scope, Benelli Super Nova shotgun, Mossberg International 817 bolt-action rifle, and a Mossberg silver over/under combo 12/20-guage shotgun.

There are about 100 items collected for the silent auction and, in years past, have included saws, air compressors, throw rugs, jewelry, flatware, cutlery and China, Wettersten said.

Patrons who win the bid for a Budweiser stein at the banquet (also during the silent auction) are entered in a drawing for another high-end gun estimated to be worth almost $12,000. The winning name will be drawn at the state convention this summer.

There’s also a Triple Threat drawing, in which those who get a winning bid on an auction item are entered into a drawing for a chance at one of three guns (three winners, first winner picks first) at the state convention this summer.

Membership for the local chapter has reached about 150 members, a group that Wettersten says is a grass-roots operation with “a bunch of guys that care about wetlands conservation. We’re just a loosely knit group of volunteers that put on a dinner,” he said. “It’s sort of an ad-hoc thing but it always turns out to be a really nice event.”

The national groups’ mission is to manage wetlands and open space and to procure or set aside land in its natural state for wildlife. Since its inception, Ducks Unlimited has conserved about 12 million acres in North America (includes Canada and Mexico figures). For every $250 raised through events such as the spring banquet, Ducks Unlimited is able to set aside one acre of wetlands for ducks and other wetland wildlife.

This year, Ducks Unlimited of Grand County is working on a project in Kremmling, hoping to reserve a habitat area there. The group also helped with the Fraser River Enhancement project.

“It takes more than water to do right for these animals,” Wettersten said.

Banquet tickets are $45 per person or $70 for a couple and will be available at the door, but purchasing them beforehand is encouraged. For more information on the banquet or membership, contact Chuck Meyerann at (970) 726-0320.

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