Conservation efforts aimed at the once-vanishing and venerable fowl were at center stage Tuesday when the Hopkins County Longbeards chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation hosted a Hunting Heritage Super Fund banquet.
The event began with doors opening at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. and turkey dinner followed.
“The Hopkins Co. Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is one of NWTF’s newest chapters at two years old, yet our volunteers have made great strides in this short amount of time to be involved in the local youth and outdoor community,” wrote Dale Thompson, a member of the local chapter, in a memo annoucing the banquet. “Since our first Hunting Heritage Banquet last spring, which was wildly successful, we have made great strides in becoming an evermore present entity in in the evolution of outdoors and the heritage of hunting.”
“We raised an estimated gross amount of almost $20,000 through the live and silent auctions and raffles,” Thompson said Wednesday morning. “We hosted a estimated 100 people and gave away 13 guns.”
Money raised at the banquet went toward wild turkey conservation, but also serves to preserve the tradition of hunting and scholarship efforts. And the Longbeards members aren’t just preaching to the choir on this one — they reach out to involve youngsters and women in their efforts.
This year’s scholarship recipiant went to Sulphur Springs High School senior Jake Russell. He is the son of Glenn and Ellen Russell and received $500 local monies to make a total of $2,000 awarded for him as he plans on attending Texas A&M in the fall. He was present at Tuesday’s banquet and was awarded a large scholarship check. “We were pleased that Russell was able to attend,” Thompson said.
For more information about the Hopkins County Longbeards chapter contact Dale Thompson at 903-348-7372.
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