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Unity goes wild over annual awards banquet

Annual wildlife supper was successful with ticket sales and donations for future outdoor endeavours.

UNITY – The Unity Wildlife Federation held their annual awards banquet Feb. 3, filling the upper level of the Unity Community Centre. With 300 tickets sold, fish and game enthusiasts of all ages were treated to an evening of fun, laughter and education.

The diners were treated to a variety of meats, including moose, fish, elk, deer, rabbit and bison. All the proteins are donated. Venison was in short supply, however.

“We could only use four of the 10 deer that was donated due to chronic wasting disease. All the animals are tested for the disease prior to the supper and anything that comes back testing positive is destroyed,” said director Sheldon Heck.

After supper was dished up, Ken Neil welcomed Sebastian and Tammy Lauinger to speak on the once in a lifetime experience that they were a part of in South Africa. Sebastian was invited to attend an international archery event, which then prompted the family to start fundraising. The Unity Wildlife Federation was one of the many sponsors that helped them travel. Sebastian also thanked the organization for being the ones to purchase the equipment for the high school, which created the archery team in the first place.

Don McGonigle was also invited to speak about a skull he found that had incisors. Dubbed Fang, McGonigle spoke about how rare it was to find such a creature. He welcomed everyone to come take a look, along with a photo of when the animal was alive and an estimate on the horn score.

Winners for the 2023 awards were as follows: Typical Whitetail- Bronson Volk, Non-typical Whitetail- Vic Lucas, Ladies Whitetail- Kirby Heitt, Senior Whitetail- Lee Sword, Junior Whitetail- Brody Ducherer, Typical Mule Deer- Brendon Alm, Non-typical Mule Deer- Kaden Ducherer, Archery Trophy- Jaya Duffin with a black bear, Moose- Lee Sword, Elk- Ken Neil, Goose- Sheldon Heck, Junior Goose- Carson Lucas, Duck- Brendon Alm, Rainbow Trout- Dave Ganter, Lake Trout- Mik Carey, Jackfish- Donna Bosch, Walleye- Brent Heitt, Perch- Kendall Krpan, Junior Fish- Colt DeRoo

During the supper, 50/50 tickets were sold along with a card raffle for smoker. Michael Johnson took home $1,420 from the 50/50 draw and Lorna Kuntz won the smoker. Lorne Fell volunteered his auctioning services for the live auction of special trips, bids on the table to go first as well as the birdhouses, which had a special prize inside. Butch Boskill, who won grand prize of a patio set from the birdhouses, donated it back to the UWF to be auctioned off again. All the live auctions brought in a total of $5,555.

“Those funds help us help the community. Whether it is the Scott Reservoir or more walking paths, we want to find ways to get people outdoors. We hope we can achieve that with the auctions and raffles we do at the suppers,” said Heck.