Fundraiser 2018 Recap

by Co-Chair Don Martin

As usual, a good time was had by all. I want to personally thank all of you that were able to attend and I apologize to each of you that couldn’t make it. You really missed out! It was good to see everyone at our annual banquet and fundraiser and once again we may have had a record-setting event.
Registrations were up this year, but due to circumstances beyond their control there were many that had to cancel at the last moment. It is regretful we couldn’t surpass our record attendance of 2017’s event, but we were only about 5 people short. We still have a lot of room to grow and I can guarantee that your Board of Directors is working to improve the event going forward starting right now.
Our speakers this year were Gray Thornton, President/CEO of WSF and WSF Youth Outreach Coordinator Dr. Ryan Brock. Gray gave a brief State of the Foundation address and Dr. Brock touched on WSF’s efforts to reach more of our youth.
In fact, this year’s event was our first effort to provide more opportunities for our youth in many years. We want to make our event more family friendly and we had youth activities that were well received by the kids in attendance. All the kids who chose to participate were able to walk away with some kind of prize. The youth raffle featured 2 firearms, a hog hunt, and an assortment of gift cards valued up to $100. I’d like to thank members Paul Schultheis and Mr. and Mrs. Alan Hayes for donating the firearms for the youth raffle.
We only gave two awards at this year’s event. The first was for biggest and oldest desert bighorn taken by a member and, to no one’s surprise, the winner was Jason Hairston, Owner and CEO of KUIU, for his state record ram “Goliath” scoring 190 6/8. Jason was unable to attend the event as he was departing for an Alaskan brown bear hunt, but the award was accepted on his behalf by Guide/Outfitter Jake Franklin of KIKA Worldwide. The other honor awarded that evening was the California Wild Sheep Foundation’s “Above and Beyond” award and this year’s honoree was Director Don Priest for his continued dedication to the conservation of California’s bighorn sheep. Thank you Don for all your hard work and congratulations on this honor.
Revenue generated at our event was excellent. The unofficial gross is in the vicinity of $239,000. Thanks in large part to a couple high dollar sales. The most notable, of course, was the record setting sale of the Oregon State Mountain Goat Permit which sold for a whopping $41,000. I want to personally thank Director Jon Kruger on his hard work in securing that permit for us. It was by far the most exciting portion of our live auction.
I’ve gotten some good feedback from our members regarding our general raffle and I want to thank Paul Brisso for volunteering to coordinate the raffle and work on securing a high quality and diverse array of firearms and prizes for our members. Congratulations to everyone that was fortunate enough to win.
Once again our Silent raffle was a staggering line up of quality items and this year’s “Super Silent Auction” was well received. We may employ this same format in the future. A big thank you to Director Craig Van Arsdale for heading up the Silent Auction team and coordinating with the rest of your Directors to provide this great fundraising opportunity. If you have any feedback or donations for next year’s silent auction, please let me know.
Our Cake Auction continues to be a huge success. This proves to be easy money for the sheep and we thank everyone that bid on the cakes. Congratulations to Patti Holloway for winning the Cake Auction grand prize, a Smith & Wesson MP-9. Thanks to Roger McCosker and Beverly Valdez for underwriting the delicious cakes.
For this year’s card raffles we tried something new. In lieu of the 50/50 drawing that many of you are familiar with, this year our opening card raffle was for $5,000 in event credit. For every deck of cards we sell at $100/card we intended to give away $5,000. This was a new card raffle, so it took a little doing, but we were able to sell a deck and Zack Walton was the lucky winner of the $5,000. Congratulations Zack!
In addition, our other card raffles proved very successful and thanks to Directors Shawn Wood, Don Priest, and Glen Pyne, the prizes were outstanding. A fully outfitted Prime bow with arrows and case was our 2
nd card raffle. Thank you to the anonymous sponsor of the archery package, we thank you for your support of CA Wild Sheep Foundation. Our final card raffle for the night was our Cinco de Mayo “Party Package” and included a Mariachi sombrero, custom bighorn sheep piñata, Canyon Cooler Ice Chest, 6 cases of Mexican Beer, an assortment of Premium tequilas and mixer, along with a donation of wild game meat and halibut to make plenty of tacos, tacos, tacos! Congratulations to the lucky winner!
Before our live auction got underway, Director Mike Borel gave an update on the status of the Give A Lamb A Drink(GALAD) project and subsequently called for donations to this major undertaking. We were able to raise $15,500 in a matter of minutes and $12,500 of those funds were matched by a generous CA WSF member bringing our GALAD donations to $28,000 with some additional donations to come.
I want to thank Director Don Priest for all of his hard work as head of the live auction committee. Once again we had a very diverse line up of hunting and fishing trips, family vacations, wildlife art, and firearms. A big thanks to the entire Board of Directors who work hard to make this live auction possible. If you have any ideas regarding the live auction or can solicit a donation, please reach out to me or Don Priest regarding items for the 2019 auction.
This event would not be possible without the hard work of your entire Board of Directors. So I would like to take this time to thank: Aaron Armstrong, Mike Borel, Adam Casagrande, Ken Crother, Ben Gordon, Bob Keagy, George Kerr, Jon Kruger, Andrew Ohanesian, Dwight Ortmann, Don Priest, Glen Pyne, Craig Van Arsdale, Darryl Williams, and Shawn Wood. I would also like to thank Beverly Valdez and John Ware for all their hard work and thanks to our volunteers, the Wood Creek High School Shooting Team, Jeremy Pechtel, Katie Martin, and others.
Next year’s event is slated for April 6. Make plans now to attend. This is the best wildlife conservation party in California, you don’t want to miss it. If you have any ideas or feedback or would like to donate or volunteer, please reach out to me via email at: or email Beverly Valdez at:
2002 - 2019 California Wild Sheep Foundation
CA FNAWS, doing business as California Wild Sheep Foundation or CA WSF, is a nonprofit organization and donations may be tax deductible. CA FNAWS tax identification number is 68-0481140.