Following the 2015 collapse in the price of oil, attendance at the Sundre Fish and Game Association’s annual banquet and awards night — while still well supported — dipped.
Before the economic turmoil, the association would generally sell out about 250 tickets for the annual supper.
“We haven’t sold out since (the crash), but it’s coming back up,” said president Alexander Clews, who reported a larger turnout this year over last. All things considered, he was glad a total of about 230 tickets were sold.
That doesn’t even include an additional 125 or so items that were donated for the event’s silent auction,” he said.
“The community definitely donated amazing items.”
The event usually raises anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 before expenses are accounted for. All said and done, the fundraiser averages $15,000 for the association’s efforts, he told the Round Up last week.
Those funds help to provide an annual $1,000 scholarship offered through Sundre High School for students pursuing a post-secondary education related to wildlife and the environment, such as for example biology. If two students successfully apply, each receives $500, he said.
The local association also donates to the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association, a youth camp by Caroline called Alfred Lake, as well as “a trout pond for members that we stock so they can take their kids to a safe place to learn to fish,” he said, adding the pond is located near the Garrington bridge between Sundre and Bowden.
Additionally, some of the association’s funds cover the cost of inviting biologists and wildlife experts into Sundre to talk with locals about numbers of animals and updates on predator management, as well as answer any questions or concerns people might have, he said, adding that forum is generally organized in partnership with the Sundre Trappers’ Association.
Membership numbers are down a little bit, and the organization aims to encourage more youth to get involved, he said.
“They’ll be the ones carrying it forward.”
Himself only 24, he said anyone who might be interested in getting involved can visit www.sundrefishandgame.com. Memberships are also available at Murf’s Outdoor Equipment, and Clews said he could be reached by calling 403-559-8905.
“It’s a great organization to be involved with,” he said.
2017 Sundre Fish and Game Awards
Shawna Bartholow, elk, 315 – 1/8
Shawna Bartholow, bison, 99 – 4/8
Ryan Bartholow, Typ Whitetail, 139 – 3/8
Darryl Murphy, cougar, 14 – 3/16
Sheryl Murphy, turkey, 6 – 2/8
Alexander Clews, Typ Mule deer, 154 – 4/8
Matthew Peart, antelope, 70 – 4/8
Coleman Perry, black bear, 17 – 6/16
Jamie Marfleet, moose, 137 – 2/8
Jeff Robins, Type Whitetail, 132 – 4/8
Jeff Robins, non-typ Mule deer, 176 – 5/8
Trystan Martyn, Typ Whiteail, 116 – 0/8
Youth archery and youth overall
Trystan Martyn, cougar, 14 – 11/16