Ducks Unlimited to celebrate 75th year

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Twelve Southeast Missouri chapters of Ducks Unlimited will host a banquet and auction event June 16 at the Black River Coliseum in celebration of the organization's 75th anniversary.

"We'd love to invite the public to enjoy Ducks Unlimited's anniversary celebration," said DU Regional Director Jimbo Robinson.

Doors will open at 4 p.m. for a social hour, followed by a catered barbecue dinner around 6:30.

The night's events will differ slightly from a traditional DU banquet, Robinson said, but still will include a silent auction, raffles, games and a live auction.

A tier raffle and other events will give visitors a chance to win various items, including a Beavertail boat, a blind full of hunting gear, more than 25 dozen decoys, Yeti coolers, guns, art prints and more.

At least 28 guns will be given away, Robinson said, many of which will be in an event dubbed a Gunapalooza.

The $100 Gunapalooza ticket includes event entry, dinner and a chance to win a firearm in the 15-gun drawing. In that drawing, 10 tickets will be placed in 15 separate gun drawings, so each Gunapalooza ticket has a one in 10 chance of winning.

Regular, non-gunapalooza tickets to the event cost $20 for a single or $30 for a couple, and include dinner. Single children's tickets, for those ages 9 to 17, are $10 each. Children 8 and under are admitted free.

Tickets are available on Ducks Unlimited's Missouri state website at www.mo.ducks.org or through local committee representatives.

Chapters involved are the Bluff City Mallards, Dexter Greenheads, Mineral Area, Mid-East (Festus), Swamp East (Sikeston), River Bend (New Madrid), Glennonville, Bootheel (Kennett), Caruthersville, South Dunklin County, Cape Girardeau and Perryville.

Ducks Unlimited, which has roots dating to the Great Depression and Dust Bowl eras, was founded by conservationists who saw waterfowl populations decline because of drought and drastic land use changes.

Through the years, the organization has conserved more than 12.5 million acres of wetlands and prairie grasslands, which are vital to successful waterfowl reproduction and wintering.

Ducks Unlimited has completed considerable habitat work in Missouri, including conservation of nearly 105,000 wetland acres.

In Southeast Missouri, Ducks Unlimited has played a key role in habitat work at Duck Creek, Otter Slough and other conservation areas.

An event like this, Robinson said, is a great way to celebrate Ducks Unlimited's past success, while also ensuring 75 more years of wetland conservation.

For more information, contact Bluff City Mallards Area Chairman Grant Collins at (573) 718-9737, Dexter Greenheads' Brian Jones at (573) 421-1771 or South Dunklin County's Mark Moore at (573) 344-8448.

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