Greene County Gobblers combine fun and fundraising at annual banquet

~courtesy of The Scranton Journal

The Greene County Gobblers chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation hosted their annual banquet Saturday evening in Clover Hall with a crowd of about 100 guests in attendance. The chapter used games, auctions and raffles to raise money for the organization.

Heading up the event were committee members Susan Cort, Fred Long, Kevin Devilbiss, Dean Dozier, Jeff Gorsuch, Scott Weber, Mark Gorsuch, Mike Minnihan and Aaron Sloan. Kevin Lentz donated his expertise to cry the live auction. The meal was catered by Lidderdale Country Store.

Special mention was made of the $40,000 contribution from NWTF in 2016 towards the purchase of public land in Greene County. That included $5,000 for Snyder Tract (212 acres); $5,000 for Whitver Tract (24 acres); $7,500 for Bedrock Tract (145 acres) and $10,000 for Ruth Hanson Wildlife Area (160 acres.)

Dan Martin from the NWTF spoke about legislative concerns and the loss of public hunting grounds each year. NWTF stresses the motto, “Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.” A banner proclaimed the success of the organization noting that since 1988, 168 properties have been acquired totaling 26,950 acres. A total of $1,453,290 in NWTF funds have been used along with $3,234,920 from the turkey trade fund and $25,587,509 in other funds.

He noted saving the hunt includes conserving or enhancing four million acres of critical upland wildlife habitat; recruiting 1.5 million hunters and providing open access to 500,000 acres for outdoor recreation including hunting.

The gun Jadyn Weber won was so big he needed the help of Susan Cort to hold it for a photograph. | Scranton Journal photo

The live auction totaled just over $5,000. A silent auction featured a number of items that had bidders up and down, checking their bids all evening.

Thirteen NWTF mugs were auctioned at about $110 each. Each mug holder was entitled to a special prize with the grand prize of a shot gun. The second choice was a Wild Rose Casino package.

Reverse BINGO brought participants to their feet. The unlucky winner, Jeff Mercer, took home a nice gun when all the numbers drawn were missing from his card. The dart game was also a popular contest, combining skill and luck.

The wild turkey population is down 15 percent nationwide. An area the size of Yellowstone National Park is lost each year to development (loss of habitat.) The Greene County Gobblers and their counterparts across the state and nation are doing their part to preserve wildlife for the next generation to enjoy.

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