© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Prince Albert Ducks Unlimited president Terry Lysyk and national manager of special projects Keith Mackintosh, from left, are seen while the 32nd Annual Prince Albert Ducks Unlimited Banquet is being set up on Saturday.
Those packing the Exhibition Centre full on Saturday were supporting more than ducks, Ducks Unlimited national manager of special projects Keith Mackintosh said.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not just for ducks,‚ÄĚ he said while guests began arriving for Saturday‚Äôs banquet. ‚ÄúPeople think it‚Äôs just about ducks -- it‚Äôs not just about the ducks.
Although ducks are an important part, the key goal behind Ducks Unlimited is with the preservation of wetlands, he clarified.
‚ÄúWetlands are a natural filter for groundwater and it‚Äôs a natural habitat,‚ÄĚ he said, adding that areas with more wetlands are less likely to flood, with wetlands serving as a giant water sponge.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs about 50 different projects going on within a 25-kilometre radius of (Prince Albert),‚ÄĚ local chapter president Terry Lysyk said. ‚ÄúYou‚Äôll see a lot of those while you‚Äôre driving along the highway -- you‚Äôll see a ‚ÄúDucks Unlimited‚ÄĚ sign by a slough or a pond.
‚ÄúIf you go out further about 100 kilometres there are probably more like 200 projects.‚ÄĚ
These projects and others like it throughout the province are overseen by a handful of staff and more than 600 volunteers.
Ducks Unlimited has about 1,000 quarters of land in Saskatchewan, making it one of the province‚Äôs largest holders of land, Lysyk said.
People think it‚Äôs just about ducks -- it‚Äôs not just about the ducks. Keith Mackintosh
Although the final numbers from Saturday‚Äôs banquet had yet to be figured out by press time on Sunday, Lysyk said that early projections see them going over the $50,000 mark.
‚ÄúIt was beyond my expectations,‚ÄĚ he concluded.
All money raised at the 32nd annual banquet stays within the province, Mackintosh said.
‚ÄúAll of the money raise at fundraising events can be matched through different government grants that we can apply for, so every dollar we raise today is about two to one,‚ÄĚ he said at Saturday‚Äôs event.
‚ÄúAs far as the fundraising side, it‚Äôs hard to match what they do in P.A.
‚ÄúThey run on the moniker that they run the best party in P.A., and they do. The fundraising side as far as the dollars we raise is just a byproduct of the fun we‚Äôre having tonight, so that‚Äôs, to me, is the message.
‚ÄúIf you‚Äôve never been to a Ducks Unlimited dinner in P.A., you‚Äôve got to come next year because it‚Äôs a lot of fun.‚ÄĚ