“The largest Fundraiser in all of SCI”
The SCI Flint Regional Chapter’s 34th Annual Fundraiser and Wild Game Dinner was held on March 12, 2016 at Dort Federal Arena and Event Center in Flint. The Board of Directors and volunteers did another outstanding job putting the event together.
SCI President Larry Higgins was in attendance and talked about the many challenges in front of us regarding hunting, both abroad and at home. DNR Director Dr. Bill Moritz also attended along with Kisha Kauffman and John (a founding member of our chapter) and Sandy Searles. All were seated with the Chapmans at the SCI VIP table. SCI Chapter Services Specialist, Bill Burton, came in from Colorado to help with the event and provide professional feedback. Bill’s feedback letter opens with “It was a real treat to attend the LARGEST FUNDRAISER in all of SCI.”
The live hunt auction broke last year’s record and is our new highest grossing auction ever in the history of the chapter. The Stone Sheep Hunt in the Yukon set another record- the highest selling auction item ever at an SCI Flint fundraiser. The auction success would not have been possible without the effort of Ron Douglas and all the members that were able to secure a donation from their favorite outfitters. But with those great donations, we need hunters to purchase them, and this year we had many enthusiastic bidders including internet bidders from an online auction service. Bill Burton commented “Amazing would be the word to describe how good the numbers were for the live auction. I do not think I will see that kind of success, for the live auction until I attend your event again.” Outfitters reported back that their bookings were great and many have already committed to attending in 2016.
The Wild Game Dinner featured Alaskan Moose (Sheppards Pie), Wild Boar (Braised Red Cabbage and Boar Sausage), Water Buffalo (Jambalaya), Venison Meatballs, and Frankenmuth Chicken prepared by Bill Zehnder’s Bavarian Inn from Frankenmuth. The meal also had many of Frankenmuth’s famous side dishes including buttered noodles, cranberry relish, and desserts.
State Senator Mike Shirkey was chosen as the SCI Flint Legislator of the Year. Mike is a graduate of General Motors Institute (GMI) and earned his master degree at the University of Wisconsin. Mike enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing, working out, and wood working. He is also the founder and owner of an engineering firm called Orbitform.
Michigan Out of Doors TV Show producer Gabe Van Wormer was chosen as the SCI Flint Media Person of the Year. Gabe has been with the show for 16 years and videotaped stories in all 83 counties of Michigan including over 100 successful turkey hunts. Gabe and his wife have 2 boys and a baby girl. Gabe’s favorite hunting is done with a longbow near his home in Shiawassee County.
The chapter again held the “Guilty by Association” door prize drawing and everyone seated at the winning table received a new shotgun. Many thanks to Jenna Douglas for leading the ladies from table to table with shotguns until they located the winners!
Last year, the Flint chapter was able to send to youth hunters on Safari Wish Hunts. Austin Wascher and Jack Dewitt were both in attendance to help get the live auction underway. The whitetail hunts took place at Extreme World Class Whitetails in Ohio and taxidermy was provided by Chasing Tail Taxidermy. Auction item #1 was again dedicated to the Safari Wish Hunt and item #2 was dedicated to a veterans humanitarian fund.
Membership chairman, Dennis Peters, along with his sons and Bill Burton sold almost 120 memberships this year- by far the most ever. We are currently the third largest chapter in all of SCI!
The overall atmosphere at the event was electric, more like a carnival than a fundraiser, and it showed throughout the night. The gun boards sold out fast, and most of the raffle items sold more tickets than previous years. Attendees were enjoying themselves and enjoying supporting the chapter. The final numbers reflect our best ever fundraiser.
Next year’s event will again be held at Dort Federal Arena & Event Center on March 11, 2017- mark your calendars.