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Moose Mountain Wildlife holds 10th annual dinner and auction

The Moose Mountain Wildlife Federation (MMWF) held its 10th annual dinner and auction on Saturday, April 7. Prairie Place Complex in Arcola was packed with nearly 300 people as the evening kicked off at 6 p.m.
The Moose Mountain Wildlife Federation held their 10th annual dinner and auction on Saturday, April 7, raising more than $55,000 for the organization. From left to right is MMWF president Jim Brown, Robert Duncan, Bill Brown, Dale Garling, Harry Laurent, and Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation president Robert Fournier.

The Moose Mountain Wildlife Federation (MMWF) held its 10th annual dinner and auction on Saturday, April 7.

Prairie Place Complex in Arcola was packed with nearly 300 people as the evening kicked off at 6 p.m.

The event, which had sold out weeks before, was supported by more than 100 sponsors.

Beginning the evening's events, MMWF president Jim Brown took over emcee duties and welcomed everyone to the event.

Brown spoke about some of the projects which the MMWF had supported over the previous year, including the purchase of a half-section of land, as well as work towards putting an archery program into area schools, at a cost of $3,000 per school.

The half-section of land was dedicated to Ed Kennett.

Following grace and a hearty dinner, Robert Fournier, Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) president, was welcomed to the podium to address the crowd.

Fournier began his address by speaking about his past familiarity with the Arcola area.

Sharing an anecdote about his experiences staying in a hotel in town while playing baseball in the early 1990s, Fournier's story of the 'indoor rain,' left the crowd chuckling.

From there, Fournier shared information about the activities of the SWF, and developments in the province of interest to hunters.

Fournier shared that the SWF had secured a grant to help construct a green beltway as a wildlife corridor in the lower Qu'Appelle Valley.

Fournier also shared that the Ministry of the Environment had let it be known they were no longer interested in administering provincial wildlife lands.

He added that, with the provincial government looking to have NGOs (non-governmental organizations) take over the management of the properties, run through a six-person panel, Fournier and the SWF were lobbying to see the SWF occupy two of those six seats.

Following Fournier's address, the live auction began, led by auctioneer Chad Eaton.

Eaton kept the crowd busy with bidding on the 45 items that were available, with intermissions to announce the winners of the hundreds of other items that were available in raffles and silent auctions.

One of the highlights of the evening's auctions was the ping-pong ball auction, a specialty of the MMWF dinners.

The ping-pong ball auction sees 12 ping-pong balls auctioned off to the highest bidders, and those 12 take a seat on the stage.

After the last ball is sold, the balls are drawn one at a time, eliminating contestants until only two remain.

The last ping-pong ball is drawn, determining the winner, who then has their choice of a set of firearms.

This year, four long arms were offered in the auction, a Mark V. Weatherby .300, a Remington Model 700 .243, a Winchester SX3 12-gauge shotgun, and a Savage 7mm.

The winner was Rodney Cutler, who had shared the auction cost of the ball with Darren Arndt.

Cutler chose the Weatherby .300 as his prize of choice.

The ping-pong ball auction raised nearly $6,000.

Another of the auction items that is a hallmark of the MMWF dinner is the fishing trip.

The trip is for four people, over five days and six nights, to a fishing resort in the north of Saskatchewan.

This year the package reached $2,200 before the hammer fell.

Yet another signature item of the MMWF dinner is the puppy auction.

The six-week old male pup was brought out for people to see before the bidding, though the winner would have to wait another couple of weeks before taking possession of the animal, due to its young age.

Donated to the event this year by Jack and Sandy Bryce, the black lab pup sold in the end for $475.

Bidding and entertainment continued on late into the night, with the event running well past midnight.

The live auction ended up raising $39,000 of the $55,000 raised at the event, allowing for the 10th annual MMWF dinner and auction to be one of the most successful to date.