The Fernie Rod & Gun Club hosted their annual banquet on Saturday, April 25 at the Fernie Memorial Arena, which was filled with attendees.
The banquet, an annual sellout, was hosted this year to raise funds for both the Rod & Gun Club as well as the annual BC Wildlife Federation Convention/Annual General Meeting that was hosted in the days leading up to the banquet.
“Usually this banquet serves as a fundraiser for the Rod & Gun Club and the convention itself is a fundraiser for the BCWF but we couldn’t have two fundraisers in as many days, so we decided to split the profits from the banquet,” said Fernie Rod & Gun Club Treasurer Mario Rocca.
This year’s theme “Ours Today, Theirs Tomorrow” was Rocca’s idea to promote the Rod & Gun Club’s focus on youth involvement.
“We really like to focus on youth,” said Rocca. “We have youth shooting and youth archery and in the summer we’ll begin Youth Shoots on Monday nights at 7 p.m. at the range and no matter what the weather is, we never cancel.”
In addition to dinner, there were many other activities hosted at the banquet, including both a live and silent auction.
“We had a hot tub up for grabs, a couple of quads, guns, bows, a trip, and a beautiful custom-made wooden bed frame,” said Rocca.
Earlier in the day, over 100 awards were given out by the club for its members various achievements.
“There are so many awards that we give out that a few years ago we decided to host the awards ceremony earlier in the day as it takes too long to get through the entire list [during the banquet],” explained Rocca.
Among the top accolades were the memorial awards, named after former members of the club.
First of the season awards such as the Ron Kiedyk Memorial award for first elk of the season shot with a rifle went to Lindsay Aikman and the Michael Voth Memorial award, honouring the first whitetail deer of the season in the junior category went to Chad Temple.
Grand Aggregate awards in the senior category went to Darrell Hurley and in the junior category to Dylan Plummer.
The biggest sheep of the year was awarded to Kirk Hurley and the highest single score of the year went to Dave Roberts.