One of the region’s most visible outdoors organizations is still pushing to impact the community despite not having its annual fundraising banquet.
Newly elected Wyoming Outdoorsmen president Janet Stambaugh said the nonprofit organization is coping the best they can with COVID-19 restrictions.
She said with up to 750 members attending the banquet each year there was no way the banquet could be held. All the items that were donated by businesses and individuals for the live and silent auctions are in storage awaiting the day when the actual fundraiser event can take place.
Stambaugh said at the time of the shutdown, WyO had close to 400 tickets sold. Everyone who purchased a 2020 ticket can use it at the 2021 fundraiser and they expect to sell around 400 more tickets. WyO is hoping to hold the banquet April 3, 2021.
Stambaugh said instead of the usual $85,000-plus that WyO puts “back on the ground” in the community and surrounding areas each year after having the fundraiser event, the group is working with less than half that, some from a portion of the ticket sales and some from the cash donations. Outdoorsmen is still giving out five $1,000 scholarships this Fall to Sloane Asay, Alexandria Livingston, Gus Mahieu, Sydnie Stambaugh and Anthony Kluesner.
Stambaugh said WyO will continue to sponsor the “First Hunt Program” set up for first time youth and women hunters, the Bear Aware Program, Beyond Bow, hunter education classes and will continue the Predator Program on a much smaller scale this fall and next spring. The organization has provided funding for youth groups such as the 4-H Sharpshooters and Scholastic Clay for equipment and supplies and are doing some signage for the Park County 4-H Sure Shots Archery Club.
WyO will consider requests on a first come basis from organizations and youth groups that fall under mission statement goals until funds run out.
Stambaugh said WyO does not support any political agendas or politicians. However, members are active in outdoor and wildlife issues and stay diligent in what is going on in the community and country.
“We do not have any paid board members or administrators and we take a lot of pride in that,” she said. “All the money we raise goes back on the ground to meet our mission statement goals which are to plan for the future of Wyoming’s outdoors by working closely with related entities to improve wildlife habitat and conservation through quality wildlife management programs and to encourage youth and family involvement in our Western outdoor heritage.
“Since we started Wyoming Outdoorsmen seven years ago, we have put more than $410,000 toward these goals.”
And the organization is already excited for the next banquet.
“WyO banquets are all about family and any parents with young children and children interested in hunting should definitely be participating in our fundraiser banquet.” Stambaugh said.
WyO has a free gift for all youth in attendance and numerous under 18 youth drawings throughout the night for lifetime conservation stamps, a lifetime game bird combo license, deer mounts and processing, fishing lessons with fly rods and reels, and poles with tackle boxes for youth under 12 years old.
“I would encourage everyone to go to our website at wyomingoutdoorsmen.org and check us out”, she said.