Ten years ago I wrote a column citing a need for a Ducks Unlimited chapter for the Columbiana County area.
In a bit of serendipity soon after, one such entity was created. This year that chapter will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a banquet April 19 at Diamond Back Golf Course on Leffingwell Road in Canfield.
Still at the helm as chapter chairman after 10 years is Vince Furrie Jr., the key person involved in getting the chapter up and running.
Got involved: Vince, an avid sportsman and conservationist, also saw the need for the local DU chapter and got involved.
He was joined then and continues to be assisted by Wes and Margaret Hull, Paul Miner and Tim Hull. All four have been committee members for the past 10 years; Margaret has been a key figure in getting most of the Columbiana DU chapter's functions off the ground.
Tickets for the event will include a 10th anniversary mug, and there will also be a raffle on a 10th anniversary custom-engraved, one-of-a-kind Browning .12-gauge Citori Grand Lightning shotgun.
What to do: Those who have attended DU functions of this caliber know that in addition to fellowship, fun and the chance to talk to others about waterfowling, there are also raffles, auctions and drawings for all manner of items -- from duck calls to clocks, knives, clothing, artwork, carvings, stamps, jewelry and more.
Activities April 19 will include live, silent and Chinese auctions offering decoys by Chuck Firestone, original artwork by Jody Paxson, limited prints by Terry Redlin and Robert Bateman, and a Browning Model BPS .28 gauge, among other things. In other words, if you are looking for something specific in the waterfowl vein, you can likely find it at this DU banquet.
Doors will open at 6 for cocktails. Games and dinner will follow at 7 p.m.
The cost: Tickets for the event are $55 each or $80 for a couple. There is also a sponsor package for $350, which includes a framed sponsor print, two 10th-anniversary mugs, two DU pins, two DU stamp holders and more.
These banquets afford those attending a chance to support DU and waterfowl projects.
The organization's mission statement is "to fulfill the annual life cycle needs of North American waterfowl by protecting, enhancing, restoring and managing important wetlands and associated uplands."
Since its inception 64 years ago, DU and its members have raised more than $1.6 billion, much of which has gone to help conserve nearly 10 million acres of prime wildlife habitat in all 50 states, all of the Canadian provinces and key areas in Mexico.
In Ohio alone, DU has contributed more than $193 million on wetlands conservation and protected more than 48,500 acres of wetlands and uplands.
For tickets: Information or tickets for the Columbiana County chapter's banquet can be obtained at Essence of Nature, 7825 U.S. Route 224, Canfield, (330) 702-1156.
To find out more about DU in Ohio and nationwide, visit the organization's website at www.ducksunlimited.com.