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NWTF Longbeards SuperFund banquet supported heritage

By Staff | Mar 11, 2015

The Middle Island Longbeard chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation held their 17th annual Hunting Heritage/ Superfund Banquet on March 7 at the Momentive Performance Materials Park Training Facility at Bens Run with many hunters and conservationists on hand to support hunting heritage in West Virginia.

The banquet, which was catered by The Fort in Sistersville, featured a silent auction, a live auction, door prizes, games, raffles, information, chances to win exclusive NWTF merchandise and firearms as well as a great dinner and conversation.

The NWTF Regional Director for the state of West Virginia, Bob Farkasovsky, was the master of ceremonies for the event along with Longbeard’s chapter president, Bob Leasure.

“The money you spend here tonight will support the NWTF and the effort to keep our hunting heritage alive and well in the state of West Virginia,” Farkasovsky said.

The National Wild Turkey Federation is a qualified, non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

The NWTF organization is made up of sportsmen, women, and children who care deeply about natural resources and the wild places they hunt. Through partnerships with state, federal, and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America – from a mere 30,000 in the entire United States, to more than seven million across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The Middle Island Longbeard chapter was formed in 1998 and became a chapter of the NWTF in 1999.

Since that time, the group has grown steadily, ran countless conservation projects and has realized many goals and accomplished much for the preservation of the wild turkey, as well as other game.

“We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future,” said Bob Leasure.

At the SuperFund banquet, many local businesses, groups, and individuals were thanked for their support for not only making the banquet successful, but for their aid in helping to preserve the hunting heritage in the state, including the following:

NWTF Sponsor members – Bob Leasure, Jim Barnard, Myers Funeral Home, Jerry Williams, Antero Resources, Steve Estep, The Fort Pizza and Restaurant, Walton Electric, Mackenzie Leasure, and Jamie Barnard.

Corporate tables sponsored – Bob Leasure, Hillbilly Grill; The Fort Pizza and Restaurant; and Antero Resources.

Reserved group tables – Witschey’s Market Inc. and the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter.

Those sponsoring items and prints for the live auction included: Wable Ford; McDonald’s Restaurant; DAC Energy, LLC; Ace Home Center, New Martinsville; Luke Furbee, Tyler County Prosecutor; Bell Chevy; Antero Resources; S & S Diamonds and Fine Jewelry; and Fast Eddy’s Tire and Paint.

Donations were also received from The Tyler Star News; Did’s Designs; Power Country Radio; Moundsville Pepsi; Tyler Outdoor Store; and Sistersville Pharmacy.

The Women in the Outdoors Firearm presented at the banquet was underwritten by the Middle Island Longbeards chapter.

The following individuals and businesses graciously sponsored children in the local area to be members of the J.A.K.E.S. program, an NWTF youth program for young conservationists:

Jim Barnard, Phillips Pharmacy, Antero Resources, The Fort Pizza, State Farm Insurance – Chris Metz, Walton Electric, King’s Corner, Farmers Exchange, Alta’s Bait and Outdoors – Alta Koerber owner, Blake’s Auto Glass, Fast Eddy’s Auto Body and tires, Peoples Bank – National Association Sistersville, Long Reach Employees Federal Credit Union, and Big Daddy’s Auto Body and Paint work LLC. J.A.K.E.S. prizes were donated by Jim Barnard and the J.A.K.E.S. gun was underwritten by Steve Estep.

The Middle Island Longbeard chapter has been recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation for their outstanding J.A.K.E.S. events, receiving six national awards, one in each category and as earned a “Best of the Best” award and inducted into the NWTF’s “Outreach Hall of Fame”. The Longbeards are dedicated to the J.A.K.E.S. mission and hunting heritage.

The 2015 banquet committee included: Banquet/ticket chairman – Bob Leasure; banquet co-chairman – Jim Barnard; Underwriting chairman, merchandise and firearms dealer – Alta and Jerry Koerber; Banquet cashier clerks – Steve Estep, Sherry Hill and Kim Estep; Women in the Outdoors committee – Lisa Barnard, Debbie Leasure and Gracie and Caitie Lowers; J.A.K.E.S. table committee – Zach, Skyler, Riley, Parker and Benjamin Leasure; auction committee – auctioneer Tish and Russ Clem; Raffle sales and auction support – Troy Collins and Riley Leasure; Games – Jerry Williams and Rick Barnard.

The NWTF is committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than four million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Chapters such as the Middle Island Longbeard’s and their members are instrumental in seeing these goals met, and keeping the hunting heritage alive, especially in West Virginia.