The Middle Island Longbeard chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation held their 15th annual Hunting Heritage/ Superfund banquet on March 9 and had a large crowd in attendance. Members and guests enjoyed a meal catered by The Fort, in Sistersville as well as a live and silent auction.
Bob Farkasovsky acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Russ and Tish Clem, auctioneers, had a great amount of merchandise to auction off including several NWTF commemorative items.
Gun of the year, Browning A Bolt - Jessica Barnard
J.A.K.E.S. (Juniors. Acquiring. Knowledge. Ethics. and Sportsmanship.), members were recognized during the banquet and the annual scholarship award was presented to Hunter LeMasters, a senior at Tyler Consolidated High School.
Funds raised at the banquet go towards wild turkey conservation in West Virginia. The National Wild Turkey Federation is a qualified, non-profit conservation organization. Since 1973, NWTF volunteers, partners and sponsors have worked for the conservation of the wild turkey and preservation of hunting heritage. At the time NWTF was established, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than 7 million birds throughout North America, and hunting seasons have been established in 49 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico.
The Middle Island Longbeards chapter was formed in 1998 and became a chartered chapter of the national Wild Turkey Federation on Feb. 18, 1999. Since that time, the chapter has realized many goals and accomplished much for the wild turkey. The chapter has grown steadily over the years and were successful with many conservation projects in that time.
The Middle Island Longbeards would like to thank all those individuals and businesses for making this years banquet a great success. NWTF Sponsor members include: Bob Leasure, Jim Barnard, Myers Funeral Home, Jerry Williams, Steve Estep, The Fort Pizza and Restaurant, Walton Electric, and WesBanco (Wetzel and Tyler Counties).
Print sponsors included: Wable Ford, Bob Leasure, in memory of Chad A. Leasure, Backyard Auto Body, Rt. 180 Taxidermy, DAC, Drilling Appalachia Corp., Glen Barnes, Bell Chevrolet, Luke Furbee, Moose Lodge 931, McDonald's Restaurant, S and S Diamonds and Fine Jewelry and Ace Home Center.
Donations are an important component to any fundraiser and this endeavor is no different. The Middle Island Longbeards chapter would like to thank the following individuals and businesses for their donations: Tyler Star News, Farmer's Exchange, Kwikee Quiver, Wildlife Research Inc., the Wetzel Chronicle, Did's Designs, Moundsville Pepsi, HPS Pharmacy, Wayside Furniture, Cabela's, Tyler Outdoor Store and Joyce's Floral Bow-K.
The following individuals and businesses sponsored children in the local area for J.A.K.E.S. memberships: Jim Barnard, Phillips Pharmacy, Jack Hayes - Tyler County Assessor, The Fort Pizza, State Farm Insurance - Linda Leasure, Walton Electric, King's Corner, Farmers Exchange, Alta's Bait and Outdoors - Alta Koerber owner; Blake Auto Glass, The Jug, Peoples Bank - National Association, Sistersville; Long Reach Employees Federal Credit Union and Backyard Auto Body.
The Middle Island Longbeards chapter has been recognized by the NWTF for their outstanding J.A.K.E.S. events with six national awards and has earned a Best of the Best award. The chapter prides themselves on their dedication to the J.A.K.E.S. mission and hunting heritage.
The banquet committee included: chairman, chapter president, Bob Leasure; co-chairman, vice president, Jim Barnard; Underwriting chairman, merchandise and firearms dealer, Alta and Jerry Koerber; banquet cashier clerks, treasurer Steve Estep and Kim Estep; Women in the Outdoors Committee: Teresa and Samantha Collins; J.A.K.E.S. table committee: Zac Leasure, Skyler, Riley and Parker Leasure; auction committee, Tish and Russ Clem; raffle sales and auction support, Troy Collins and Justin Williams.