Although it seems impossible to me, the S.C. Waterfowl Association has been around for more than a quarter of a century. It has grown from a small and humble grassroots beginning to become a model state-level conservation organization.
It seems like only a few years back the SCWA was a fledgling, struggling to find its identity, grow its membership, and make a meaningful impact in waterfowl management (with a focus on wood ducks) and habitat preservation.
Today SCWA is widely recognized in conservation circles as a true success story. The overall nature of that success has many parts including major achievements connected with wood ducks, an influential role in realization of the whole ACE Basin dream, solid work on the educational front with aspiring young hunter/naturalists, as well as establishment of an education center and the wonder of Camp Woodie. The latter is an annual series of summer camps where youth are exposed to many segments of the world of nature while having a great time. SCWA reached a milestone this year by hosting more than a 1,000 campers.
All of these endeavors and milestones have been made possible through SCWA chapters scattered across the state. From the outset, the local one, known as the Greater Piedmont Chapter, has been an integral and important part of the picture. While the chapter is involved in projects and activities throughout the year, its key event is an annual conservation dinner fundraiser with silent and live auctions, raffles, and a first-rate meal preceded by a social hour. It’s an opportunity for like-minded individuals to mix and mingle while sharing tales of hunts past or plans of those yet to come.
The 2017 event begins at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Events at Manchester Complex, 1965 Cinema Drive in Rock Hill. Ticket prices are $50 for a single (includes a year’s membership in SCWA), $75 per couple, and $250 for sponsors. In addition to making a significant contribution to SCWA’s conservation initiative, sponsors are included in drawings for guns, special hunts and the like.
As always, there will be plenty of tempting auction and raffle items to attract the interest of sportsmen/conservationists in attendance. These range widely from guided trips to artwork, practical gear to decorations for the sportsman’s den or a backwoods cabin. There are almost always bargains but even if an item draws lively bidding competition to what seems like a rather pricey level, keep in mind every dollar raised is for a meaningful conservation cause of proven effectiveness.
For information or tickets, call 248-431- 3253 or visit scwa.org.