20th Annual Banquet Held By National Wild Turkey Federation
The place to be on March 24 was at the Bens Run Momentive Park where the Middle Island Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation held its annual Hunting Heritage/Superfund Banquet. The motto was “Save the Habitat Save the Hunt.” A wonderful buffet dinner catered by the Fort Restaurant and Pizza from Sistersville provided those in attendance with baked steak, ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, drinks, and desserts.
Doors to the event opened at 5 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6:30. A silent aution was held and also a live aution. Drawings were held, and many came away winning some beautiful rifles, guns, knives and other wonderful prizes. One of the highlights was the J.A.K.E.S. Future Conservationists drawings. Many of the young folk in attendance came away with some great gifts that they can enjoy for years to come and which will encourage them to become furute hunters.
The Middle Island Longbeards chapter was formed in 1997, 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 steady over the years and have been successful with many conservation projects.
“Our focus over the years has always been in the future of the hunting heritage and the mission of the NWTF,” said chapter president Bob Leasure. “We would also like to acknowledge our sponsors and say thank you to Momentive Performance Materials for the use of their facility to host our 20th Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet.”
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., Jerry Williams, Hersman Appraisal Services LLC., Mackenzie Leasure, Highland Bear Armory (Owner Aaron Stewart), Blake’s Auto Glass, Union Bank Of Tyler County, Dale Koonz, State Farm Insurance (Agent Shannon Anderson), Terry’s Garage, LLC, Harmon Haught, and Jason Martin.
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, Terry’s Garage LLC., Terry and Beth Monroe, State Farm Insurance, Galaxy Food Stores (St. Marys), King’s Corner, Sistersville Pharmacy, Friends of NWTF, Jason Martin, Long Reach Employees Federal Credit Union, DAC Energy, Lakeside General Store, Farmer’s Exchange, Sistersville Eye Care Center, Inc, Roseanne Eastham (Candidate for Tyler County Commission).
A special J.A.K.E.S signup incentive drawing was held for any boy or girl, ages one 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 nineteen 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.