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Having fun in Emmet County

By Staff | Feb 29, 2008

Larry Zach presents ECNCF board president Steve Weisman with Old Rivals I. With only 10 in existence, this is sure to be a hot item at the ECNCF banquet on Saturday, March 29 at the Elks Lodge. Photo submitted

Two banquets are on tap during the month of March for outdoor enthusiasts. The first is the annual Emmet County Pheasants Forever Banquet and the second is the first annual Friends of the Emmet County Nature Center Banquet.

I’ve been a member of the local Pheasants Forever chapter for lots of years. Last year’s banquet was outstanding, and this year’s looks to be even better. This year’s banquet is scheduled for Saturday March 8 at the Elks Lodge in Estherville. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a prime rib dinner that lasts until 7 p.m. The program and auction begins at 7:30.

According to Connie Alvarez, Emmet County Pheasants Forever president, tickets include the annual membership and covers the cost of the meal.

Proceeds from the banquet go toward habitat and land acquisitions, youth activities, seed for food plots and this past year a special donation to the Emmet County Nature Center.

As usual, the program will include a wide variety of general raffle, silent auction and live auction items. Contact Connie Alvarez at (712)362-7443 and Jeremy Truog at (712)209-2175 for tickets.

First-ever Friends of the Emmet County Nature Center

As a member of the Emmet County Nature Center Foundation (ECNCF), I think I speak for the entire foundation when I say, “Thanks! Thanks to the great response we have had over the past nine months of fundraising for the Emmet County Nature Center!” We’re getting closer and closer to reaching our fundraising goal.

Now, it’s time for the first annual Friends of the Emmet County Nature Center banquet. Scheduled for Saturday, March 29 at the Elks Lodge, the goal of the evening is to have a lot of fun celebrating the success of the Nature Center, while at the same time raising money to help us finish off paying for the center’s construction. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with program and auction starting at 7:15 p.m.

Cost of a ticket includes the meal and the membership to the Friends of the Nature Center.

The program will include recognition of all those involved in the construction of the Nature Center, a big thank you to all Nature Center donors, the chance to win some awesome prizes and the chance to take part in bidding on some really cool auction items.

Over the next few weeks, the ECNCF will release the list of banquet sponsors and donors, prizes, general raffle items, and the silent and live auction items. We have had a tremendous response from both local individuals and businesses in providing merchandise for the evening.

At the same time, I am proud to announce that two of the most prominent wildlife artists in the Midwest are partnering with the ECNCF to share their belief in the construction of the Emmet County Nature Center with some really incredible prizes for the banquet: Terry Redlin, who lives in Watertown, SD and Larry Zach, who lives in Ankeny.

You all know how much Terry Redlin’s prints have meant to us during our fundraising campaign.

Now, just a little peak at what Larry Zach is offering. He has received many awards over the years, and has been named artist of the year by several outdoor organizations: the Iowa Wild Turkey Federation, Iowa Ducks Unlimited, Iowa Pheasants Forever, Iowa Bowhunters, Iowa Elk Breeders and National Wild Turkey Federation.

He is especially known for his whitetail deer prints. Three of his most famous are the Old Rivals Series-I, II, III, which depict a pair of big whitetail bucks – in three different scenes – in old farm scene settings. All limited edition prints and canvases have long ago sold out.

However, here’s the deal. Zach has kept back 10 numbered canvases for special conservation groups. We’re so excited that the ECNCF has been selected as one!

So, he is partnering with us for a three-year period, and we will auction off one Old Rivals Conservation Canvas each year. This year will be Old Rivals I, and it’s numbered 9 of 10. That’s right, only 10 in existence. I’ve seen it, and wow is it something. It is truly a collector’s item. Wouldn’t it be something to own all three?

So, there’s a little perk…That’s all I’ll say right now, but wait till you see what else we have in store for those attending the banquet.

Oh, and there is something really special for all of you that become “Friends of the Nature Center” members, but it’s a surprise that we won’t share until banquet night. But let me tell you this – you’re going to love it!