Combining the general membership fundraising banquet and the sponsors banquet will prove to be a fantastic move by the New Iberia Ducks Unlimited Chapter. It’s inevitable.
Just ask Jason Foster of New Iberia, chapter chairman, who announced in mid-February the switch of the general membership banquet from spring to fall, its position on the calendar for all but five years since the chapter’s inception, and to pair it with the sponsors banquet at the same time.
That fall date has been set, which means local outdoorsmen can mark their calendar.
Foster said in an email to committee members that the combined banquet is scheduled for Oct. 3 at the Isle of Iberia Resort, starting at 6 p.m. Thirteen committee members met Aug. 15, he wrote, pumped as usual about one of his favorite topics.
After Foster became chairman in 2013, he moved the general membership banquet to a spring date. It raised more awareness of DU in the community, he said, and the attendance figures multiplied each of those years.
The fifth and last springtime general membership banquet was held April 12 at the Isle of Iberia Resort. More than 150 people attended that fundraising event.
This spring, however, there was no event. He announced a “shift and pivot in the chapter’s strategy once again.”
In this space March 10, Foster said, “With so many fundraising events taking place throughout the year, solidifying our tradition of one event at a given time can become our chapter’s banner.”
The decision was made with the intent of giving organizers the opportunity to focus their efforts on one fundraising banquet and to capitalize on the increasing popularity and positive feedback since the early 2000s.
At the time, Foster said he was thinking about scheduling the combined banquet to be held the Thursday before the city celebrated the World Championship Gumbo Cookoff. It will be a week earlier because the 30th annual Gumbo Cook is scheduled for Oct. 12-13 at Bouligny Plaza.
The committee’s goal is to raise $100,000, he wrote this past week. The goals include $48,000 with 60 table sponsors, $12,500 with five corporate sponsors and $40,000 with live auctions.
Corporate underwriter sponsorships will be $2,500. Table sponsorships will be $800. Sponsorships with be $350. General membership will be $50.
It isn’t too early to make plans to attend.
DON SHOOPMAN is outdoors editor of The Daily Iberian.