Ducks Unlimited raises $10.2M for public restoration

Photo by Jody Isaackson Ducks Unlimited local chapter president Jon Holt presented the youth shotgun to Mason Christensen, 6, of Hendricks at the 42nd annual Ducks Unlimited of Southwest Minnesota Annual Banquet held in Ghent Thursday night.

GHENT — Mason Christensen, 6, of Hendricks, couldn’t believe his eyes and ears as he pulled the “winner” sign from his door prize bag at the Ducks Unlimited of southwest Minnesota 42nd annual Banquet held at KB’s in Ghent Thursday evening.

Christensen won a 29mm youth shotgun. He attended the event with his father and other friends and relatives. More than 70 hunting enthusiasts turned out for the catered meal and door prize drawings, a silent auction and a live auction fundraiser.

Ducks Unlimited Regional Director Andrew Limmer said Minnesota Ducks Unlimited has raised $10.2 million from its fundraisers this past year. That is about $7 million over the previous year.

“The funds go toward public restoration and purchase of land for public access,” Limmer said. “Ducks Unlimited is a grassroots organization and runs on volunteer work. We’ve had full 60-day seasons for a couple of years, now, thanks to volunteers like Brad Cool.”

Limmer called Cool to the front to be recognized and awarded a gift for heading up the local chapter for several years prior to Holt coming on board at the last election.

Christensen said he will take his father, Derek Christensen, duck hunting in a couple of weeks and try out the 29mm youth shotgun donated by Kesteloot Enterprises, Inc. of Marshall. Many other door prizes and auction items were donated by businesses from the surrounding area and were recognized in the banquet program as well as when each item was introduced by Ducks Unlimited president Jon Holt of Marshall.

Holt was assisted by several of his committee members in running the banquet and the auction.

Life sponsors were listed and thanked, as well as corporate sponsors and local sponsors and prize donors, in between door prize drawings.