Northern News Services
The 15th annual Ducks Unlimited Auction and Banquet was held on Saturday. Michael Fabijan, left, chair of the Inuvik Committee of Ducks Unlimited, and Dan Martin stand alongside one of the items bid upon - a seat from the old Montreal Forum. - Malcolm Gorrill/NNSL photo
Michael Fabijan, chair of the Inuvik committee of Ducks Unlimited, was pleased with the event, held at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex.
"It's probably our best year ever. We had a full house," Fabijan enthused.
Aside from a dinner, the evening also featured raffles, a silent auction, a live auction, and a dance to cap things off.
One of the more popular items to grace the auction block was a chair from the old Montreal Forum.
"There was actually a few people that wanted it pretty badly," Fabijan said.
Also popular was Parks Canada's donation of a trip to any one of the three nearby national parks.
A professional auctioneer, Mike Kosik, was flown in for the event courtesy Canadian North.
Fabijan said the event probably grossed about $65,000, and that expenses were still being tallied.
"All of the money that's raised from our dinner stays in the NWT."
Ducks Unlimited is working on a waterfowl program in the Inuvik area over the next three years.
"They're spending $1.5 million, most of it based right out of Inuvik," Fabijan explained.
"They are currently funding a program to put together a training course for technicians at the college, and that program probably starts sometime in the new year."
Those completing this course would have the training necessary to take part in the waterfowl program.
Fabijan said Inuvik Committee members don't hold regular meetings, but do spend a lot of time preparing for their two big annual events, the other one being a sponsor event in the spring.
The committee currently boasts 18 members. Fabijan has served for about 12 years and said many others have served for a number of years. He pointed out committee members buy their own tickets for the banquet and auction.
Fabijan said community support, in the form of donations of cash or goods, is crucial for the banquet.
"We really appreciate the support from the town," Fabijan said. "It's just huge. Without that, it wouldn't be what it is."