Artists Raedeke, Sieve to attend Pheasants Forever banquet
WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Pheasants Forever will celebrate its 35th anniversary with some special guests Friday evenin during the chapter's annual fundraising banquet at the Worthington Event Center.
WORTHINGTON - Nobles County Pheasants Forever will celebrate its 35th anniversary with some special guests Friday evenin during the chapter’s annual fundraising banquet at the Worthington Event Center.
Two well-known wildlife artists with Nobles County ties - former Worthington resident Jerry Raedeke and Wilmont native Michael Sieve - will be on hand for the celebration. Both have donated an original painting for the chapter’s fundraiser, and Raedeke will put the finishing touches on a commemorative Nobles County Pheasants Forever 35th Anniversary painting during the evening. The Raedeke prints will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, while the Sieve painting will be awarded to a lucky winner in a raffle drawing.
As of Monday afternoon, Nobles County Pheasants Forever President Scott Rall said just 50 tickets remained for the banquet. They are available for purchase at LPL Financial, 1321 Smith Ave., Worthington, or reserved by calling Rall at 360-6027. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with the meal served at 7 p.m.
In addition to the Raedeke and Sieve paintings, the fundraising auction will again include an original Brad Behrends painting, this time featuring Pheasant Run 11, the Grothe Wildlife Management Area east of Wilmont. Behrends, owner of Behrends Signworks in Worthington, has offered an original painting for the past 11 years. Meanwhile, Erik Youngblom and Jerry Johnson will once again donate a one-of-a-kind, hand-carved fishing fillet knife, a popular auction item for more than 15 years.
Each year, the banquet offers numerous raffle, live and silent auction items as a way to raise money for habitat development and preservation in Nobles County.
Friday’s banquet will highlight two new land acquisitions in 2017 - Pheasant Run 35 and 36 in the Worthington Wellhead Protection Area, which are now managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and open for public use. The event will also celebrate the chapter’s recognition as the state’s Youth Chapter of the Year award recipient for leading a pollinator habitat project.
Last fall, 260 fifth-graders from Worthington Middle School, along with 15 volunteers and 20 school staff members, assisted in planting pollinator habitat on 10 acres of county-owned land near the Prairie Justice Center at Worthington, and on five acres at Midway Park, northeast of Adrian. The project was funded by Nobles County, the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee, the Round Lake Sportsmans Club and the local PF Chapter,
“It was the largest single kids pollinator event in MN PF history,” Rall said.
Pheasants Forever continues to work with other agencies to capitalize on projects. The Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District and Worthington Public Utilities joined PF in purchasing what is now Pheasant Run 35, a 19-acre parcel along 320th Street that joins the existing Peterson WMA; and received funds from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council to purchase 35 acres (split in two parcels) to add to the Bella WMA. The latter purchase, Pheasant Run 36, includes four acres in water development rights with Worthington Public Utilities.
Rall said the 37th and 38th land purchases are now underway.
In addition to land acquisitions, the local PF chapter sponsors the Worthington Firearms Safety program, contributes to the Prairie Ecology Bus Center and will, in October, host a Warriors Never Give Up combat veteran hunt. Also, the chapter intends to continue to expand the pollinator program by engaging other schools in the county.