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DU hoping to exceed financial goal


For the first time ever, the local Ducks Unlimited banquet sold out before the early-bird deadline.

Now, organizers are setting their sights on exceeding $50,000 in gross revenue from the 17th-annual event, which goes this Friday at La Place Rendez-Vous.

The dinner usually pulls in about $45,000 in gross revenue, committee member Barney Maher noted, adding all net proceeds are turned over to DU headquarters in Winnipeg.

Well over 100 items--including works by 26 local artists and carvers--will be up for grabs this year in the live and silent auctions, and pyramid raffle.

There also will be special raffles and door prizes.

Also Friday, DU will honour three people--Dale LaBelle, Bev Murray, and Pam Brandrick--for their annual contributions to the banquet.

The evening gets underway at 5:30 p.m. with viewing and cocktails, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the live auction around eight.

Ducks Unlimited, an international organization with headquarters in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and New Zealand, has generated about $1.1 billion, which was put into helping various habitat in Canada.

Here in Canada, DU has invested more than $800 million. Because the Prairies are the major breeding and staging area for waterfowl, the largest number of projects--8,800 in total--occur in those provinces.

By contrast, Ontario has 800 habitat projects actively in force.

Projects include:

•Wetland restoration, enhancement, and management.

•Restoration of native grasses and other cover to provide upland habitat for waterfowl nesting and other wildlife;

•Beaver pond restoration for low-cost effective habitat; and

•Ontario land care assistance to land owners to implement conservation-friendly land use practices.

During the last fiscal year, DU Canada raised $19 million for wetland and waterfowl conservation. DU membership in Ontario exceeds 30,000, with more than 1,600 volunteers co-ordinating almost 200 fundraising events each year.

To address the pressing need to conserve additional upland habitat for land birds, such as hawks, doves, owls, songbirds, and woodpeckers, DU Canada has joined forces with other conservation groups to form “Partners in Flight,” which has developed the Canadian Landbird Conservation program.

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