21st Annual Banquet Held By the NWTF Longbeards
The Middle Island Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation held its annual Hunting Heritage/Superfund Banquet on March 23 at Bens Run Momentive Park. The motto for the evening was “Save the Habitat Save the Hunt.” A delicious buffet dinner catered by the Fort Restaurant and Pizza from Sistersville provided those in attendance with baked steak, ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, noodles, pizza, drinks, and desserts.
Doors to the event opened at 5 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6:30. A silent aution and a live aution were held. Drawings were held, and many came away winning beautiful rifles, guns, knives and other wonderful prizes. One of the highlights of the evening was the J.A.K.E.S. Future Conservationists drawings. Many of the young people in attendance came away with some great gifts they will be able to enjoy for years to come.
The Middle Island Longbeards chapter was formed in 1998, and became a chartered chapter of the Wild Turkey Federation on February 18, 1999. Since that time, the group has realized many goals and accomplishments for wild turkey conservation. The Longbeards have grown steadily over the years and have been successful with many conservation projects.
Chapter president Bob Leasure quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt saying, “We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” The Middle Island Longbeards also thanks Momentive Performance Materials for the use of their facility to host their 21 Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet.
Also, all of the gun transactions were handled by Mountainside Outfitters.
Sponsor members for this year’s event included Steve Estep, Bob Leasure, David Hohn, Jim Barnard, The Fort Restaurant and Pizza, Patrick Collins, Myers Funeral Home, Perkins Supply Inc., Mountainside Outfitters, Jerry Williams, Hersman Appraisal Services LLC., Mackenzie Leasure, National Right of Way, Louis F. Love, Blake’s Auto Glass, Union Bank Of Tyler County, Dale Koonz, State Farm Insurance (Agent Shannon Anderson), Harmon Haught, Mike Rokles, Suzie Nething, Skyler Leasure, and ROOT @ RACK, Lance Hickman.
Special thanks goes out to the J.A.K.E.S. Sponsors who have chosen to graciously sponsor children in the local area. These children will now receive a one year J.A.K.E.S. membership, which includes a quarterly “J.A.K.E.S. Country” magazine, membership card and J.A.K.E.S. decal. Sponsors included: Phillips Pharmacy, State Farm Insurance, Galaxy Food Stores (St. Marys), King’s Corner, Sistersville Pharmacy, Long Reach Employees Federal Credit Union, Lakeside General Store, Farmer’s Exchange, LLC., Pleasants County Bank, ACE Home Center, N. Martinsville, Perkins Supply, Fast Eddy’s Tire & Paint, Moose Lodge # 931, Community Bank.
A special J.A.K.E.S signup incentive drawing was held for any boy or girl, ages 17 and under. The drawing included two J.A.K.E.S. firearms. All J.A.K.E.S. prizes were donated by Jim Barnard.
The Middle Island Longbeards has been recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation for their outstanding commitment to the J.A.K.E.S. mission, with its six national awards for their J.A.K.E.S. events and also have been inducted into the National Wild Turkey Federation’s, “Outreach Hall of Fame.”
“As we reflect on the past twenty years of the chapter’s conservation efforts and enter another year of working for the wild turkey, I want to thank all of our committee members who gave of their time and resources, sacrificing time spent with family, giving up time working around the house or even days hunting to accomplish our mission. Thanks to our sponsors and donors who gave monetary support to our efforts to ensure that we’ll always hear the “Resonating Gobble” in the turkey woods,” said Leasure.