Setting a record
Ducks Unlimited event nets over $50,000

Sarah Holland
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 17/00) - It's for the ducks. That was how one man described Ducks Unlimited's 14th annual Yellowknife banquet and auction.

A sold-out crowd of 200 packed the Elks Hall last Saturday night to participate in a variety of fund-raising activities.

As guests entered the front door they were greeted with the Duck Pluck, the 50/50 draw and the camper's raffle.

Moving further into the hall, guests encountered a three-tiered raffle table. Next was the putter's raffle, especially popular since the golf course received a fresh blanket of May snow over the weekend.

At the front of the hall stood two tables holding the silent auction goods. Other items, to be sold in a live auction, were also in full display. People could also try their luck at the Greenwing membership raffle, the ladies raffle, the gooseband raffle and the pick of the litter draw.

Although everyone was there for a worthy cause, the guests also had a lot of fun and laughs waiting for the raffle tickets to be drawn, participating in the auctions and socializing with friends.

"My husband and I used to go to the (auction) in Seattle, and this is our first one in the North. It's been great," said Kim Knutson, who happily accepted the electric food smoker that she won in the raffle.

An item in the silent auction that made one couple particularly happy was a ceramic black Lab puppy with a dummy in its mouth. The proud new owners, James and Lisa Lye, had their own black Lab on their minds.

"We bought him because he reminds us of our dog Jeter," said James.

The evening was also a monetary success as Ducks Unlimited raised $50,000-$55,000, a new record for Yellowknife and an amazing $10,000-$15,000 more than last year's total. The event benefited from more than 100 donations of items and cash.

Bruce MacDonald, the Northwest Territories manager of Ducks Unlimited, was attending his first Yellowknife dinner and auction.

"I think it went very well; it looked like people were having a lot of fun.

"I'm very proud. They (the guests) showed tremendous support for Ducks Unlimited, as they have in the past.

"It wasn't just the people but the sponsors as well. The donations we had this year were incredible."