ducks unlimited holds its annual fundraiser banquet

Representatives for Ducks Unlimated inspect and talk about some of the auction items at the DU fundraising banquet. Items included Rifles, chairs, paintings and other such DU related household and hunting items.
Nate Callaway/The Lion's Roar

There is a popular saying at Ducks Unlimited, “You come for the cause, but stay for the people.” Ducks Unlimited has more than the ducks, it is about the people and what they do for their cause, each other and the environment.

Ducks Unlimited is an organization devoted to the preservation of wetlands, the duck’s natural habitat. They work at restoring grasslands, replanting forests, restoring watersheds and countless other initiatives that protect and conserve the environment.

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the university’s branch of the organization held the annual fundraiser banquet where they sold food and raffle tickets. They auctioned items like rifles, hunting chairs and trip opportunities. All of the money made goes towards the DU cause. As a way to connect with and educate the public on their cause and goals, Ducks Unlimited has what they call DU TV which films a variety of different kinds of videos.

This is what university alumnus Steven Gaines and soon to be graduate Eric Warren helped out with. They wanted to make videos that were more personal and told stories for DU TV seeing the opportunity to give back to a group they loved.

“It was actually Eric who actually started it,” said Gaines, a university alumnus with a degree in occupational safety health and environment. “He grew up duck hunting and was just really passionate about it as a whole. He really appreciated it. All through high school, he was one of those kids that would go hunting every morning before school. When he got to college, he really didn’t have as much time as he did then, but he still wanted to do something else to participate and get involved.”

Warren is a senior expecting to graduate in December. Two years ago, he began the university’s branch of the organization and spent the first year as chairman. When his term was up, he asked fellow student, Leah Dahmer, to replace him as chairman.

“Eric Warren founded Southeastern’s group, and after his time as chairman was up, he asked me to come in and replace him,” Said Dahmer, a sophomore majoring in health systems management. “It’s a good cause, and to be honest, I really like all of it. The people are really what make it great.”

Dahmer went on to talk about how the organization works on a 20/80 policy. Twenty percent of all profits made go toward miscellaneous processes and basic needs, such as putting on the banquet. The other 80 percent, goes directly to the cause of conserving the wetlands and the ducks themselves.

Dahmer and Gaines talked about how it really is the people that make Ducks Unlimited such a great place.

“Eric asked me to go to a zone meeting, and seeing as I had nothing else to do that evening, I went along,” said Gaines. “As I was there, though, I found that it was somewhere I really belonged. The people were great, and they just treat you right.”

Dahmer encourages those not usually into hunting, or that wouldn’t consider attending, to come along anyway.

“Just dive in headfirst,” said Dahmer. “Everything you do will be for a good cause. After all, ‘you come for the cause, but stay for the people.’”

The university’s branch can be found on Facebook at Southeastern Louisiana Ducks Unlimited Chapter for additional information such as membership requirements, meeting days and how to donate.

One of the Items up for auction was a premium hunting rilfe complete with camouflage and scope. All proceeds from the auction and ticket prices went directly into some costs for the banquet and organization but mostly towards the wildlife preservation funds.
Nate Callaway/The Lion's Roar