NWTF banquet celebrates heritage

| March 6, 2017
Keegan (left) and Nic Carey were enjoying themselves at the 28th annual Muskingum Valley Chapter of the NWTF Hunting Heritage banquet held March 4 at Lake Park Pavilion. One of the highlights of the evening is a gift to each youth age 17 and under. Nic is giving Keegan some fatherly advice on how the drawing works and some tips on selecting a prize. Mark Fortune | Beacon

Keegan (left) and Nic Carey were enjoying themselves at the 28th annual Muskingum Valley Chapter of the NWTF Hunting Heritage banquet held March 4 at Lake Park Pavilion. One of the highlights of the evening is a gift to each youth age 17 and under. Nic is giving Keegan some fatherly advice on how the drawing works and some tips on selecting a prize. Mark Fortune | Beacon

COSHOCTON – The 28th annual Hunting Heritage banquet of the Muskingum Valley Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation celebrated hunting, preservation of habitat and a special emphasis on the youth JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) program.

Raffles, prizes, silent auctions and drawings were held throughout the night where guests could take a chance on winning guns, footwear and much more. The meal was catered by Schumaker Farms and held at the Lake Park Pavilion on March 4.

Emcee was Shawn Dickey, NWTF District Field Supervisor who told the audience that, “You have the best banquet in the state of Ohio and here are the plaques to prove it.” Dickey pointed to a display of several plaques that the local chapter has been awarded for the annual banquet and proceeds raised to help the NWTF.

Father and son auctioneering duo Greg and John Rice paired up to auction off various items, art prints, a NWTF Jalopy Truck and much more during the evening.

A special thanks was shouted out to Rick May of Basil Firearms for being on site to register the winnings of the lucky.

Veterans were recognized before the event with a standing ovation.

Current chapter President Chuck Smith said, “It feels great to be a part of this banquet because the support we get and the attendance we get is outstanding. For a more rural area we were the top banquet in the state last year and our supporters come out every year. It’s incredible.

“It’s an outstanding effort by everyone on the committee. We have meetings several times a month starting three to four months ahead – it’s a lot of work gathering all the items for the banquet from our gifts to our guns, numbering and ordering everything.

“Dwaine Scheetz is the ringleader of the whole group. I may be the President but Dwaine is the ring leader. He does an outstanding job and is the banquet chairman.

“The day of the event we meet at 7 a.m. for breakfast and at 8 a.m. we are loading things up and bringing them over here and then taking everything out of the boxes and setting up. From 8 a.m. on it’s an all-day event putting this event together.

“We couldn’t do this event without the families of our members helping. We just don’t have enough committee members. We’re all volunteers but everybody’s family puts in a lot of time and effort, especially on banquet day.”

The chapter prides itself on being family and kid friendly. Smith said, “I’ve been to banquets all over the state and I’ve never seen a banquet give away JAKES gifts at their banquet. To give every child in attendance a gift – to make them feel like they are a part of the program. They are our future.”

The chapter also holds a JAKES program during the summer. The date for this year’s event is July 15 at the Coshocton County Sportsman’s Association located at 21280 Jackson Township Road 283, Coshocton.

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I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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