Elk foundation plans first banquet, auction

Elk foundation plans first banquet, auction The Spirit Mound chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will hold its first benefit banquet and auction on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the new Buffalo Run Winery in Vermillion.

The event begins with a social hour from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with a prime rib dinner served at 7:30 p.m. by the staff at the Buffalo Run Winery. The live auction will begin at 8:30 p.m.

The banquet and auction are open to anyone. Tickets will be $15 per meal plus $30 for a one- year membership to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. A number of pieces of fine art, collector's guns, knives, and belt buckles, plus door prizes, raffles and games will be available.

Those who buy their tickets prior to Oct. 14 will be put into an early bird drawing for $80 worth of general raffle tickets and a free night's stay for two at the Winery, which has been donated by the Buffalo Run Winery.

"The core committee is interested in helping spread the word about the fine work the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is doing in North America, said co-chair Gregg Radigan of Vermillion. "Their mission is to conserve elk and elk habitat, along with habitat that other wildlife species will use. Plus, RMEF puts a big emphasis on families and education about the outdoors, which we think is very important."

"There are 550 RMEF chapters in North America, and the Spirit Mound chapter will be the 19th chapter in South Dakota," said Maggie Engler, South Dakota Regional Director for RMEF. "There are also eight chapters in Iowa, and nine in Nebraska. With the three-state region turning to Vermillion and Sioux City as a central area for business and shopping, it seemed only natural to start a chapter here."

The funds raised at this event will support habitat conservation projects such as improving winter range for wildlife and fencing to keep elk off of private lands where there are conflicts between elk and ranchers, hunting heritage projects like youth outdoor days and the Becoming An Outdoors-Woman workshops, and research on elk that relates to the species' biology and management.

"We encourage everyone from the three state region to join us in Vermillion," said co-chair Jim Fredericks of Sioux City, IA. "We have pulled together a fun event for everyone interested in the out-of-doors, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Buffalo Run Winery."

For more information on the Spirit Mound chapter or to buy tickets, contact either co-chair: Gregg Radigan at 605-624-8718 (Vermillion) or Jim Fredericks 712-252-3525 (Sioux City). For information about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in general, contact Regional Director Maggie Engler at 605-574-3239 or e-mail her at sdrmef@rapidnet.com.

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