Creston’s DUC banquet raises $27,000 for conservation

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(Top) Ducks Unlimited chair Gertie Brown present longtime sponsor Fred Mawson with a framed print

(Top) Ducks Unlimited chair Gertie Brown present longtime sponsor Fred Mawson with a framed print

By all accounts, Creston’s 27th annual Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) banquet, which was held Oct. 15, was a smashing success. Not only did each of the 222 guests enjoy a fabulous meal and participate in action-packed auctions and games of chance, but they raised $27,000 for wetland conservation.

“It was a great night,” said chair Gertie Brown. “People were striking up friendships and swapping stories — you meet lots of people who share the same interests and values as you. Most attendees are people who really appreciate the natural beauty of wetlands and recognize the value that wetlands have. We’re heavily attended by outdoor enthusiasts who are concerned about the depletion of our natural resources.”

The money raised goes to support wetlands infrastructure, including that at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, which, in 1970, received funding as the first Ducks Unlimited project in B.C. Since then, DUC has helped to conserve 3,395 hectares of habitat in the Creston Valley, for a total investment of $2,765,530.

“People attend this dinner as one of the ways to give a little something back to nature,” said Brown. “Revenue generated from the evening’s raffles, silent auction and live auction is invested in habitat conservation, research and education. So when you attend a Ducks Unlimited Canada event, you’re actively involved in wetland conservation.”

The highlight of the evening was the live auction, thanks to the spirited, charitable crowd who were all too willing to start a bidding war over items like prints, sculptures and home décor. And support from the local business community was phenomenal.

“A special thanks to all the sponsors and donors,” said Brown. “We could not have a very successful event without your generous support.”

Two people at the dinner received special recognition. The first was Chuck Truscott, who has served as the dinner’s MC for 25 years; he received a gold pin and a set of knives.

Also honoured was Fred Mawson, owner of Mawson’s Sports in downtown Creston, who received a framed print, Curious.

“Fred was one of the first committee members that started the fundraising dinner 27 years ago,” said Brown. “He sells our tickets at his store and lets us do a window display. He also donates generously.”

Brown also extended her thanks to the committee members.

“They are all such great people who don’t just sit back and expect other people to fix things for them,” Brown said. “They’re taking an active part in helping stop the loss of wetlands by raising funds with the dinner. They’re heroes to Ducks Unlimited.”

For more information on local Ducks Unlimited events, contact Gertie Brown at 250-428-7581.

— DUCKS UNLIMITED (Creston Branch)