After 11 weeks of no gatherings, RMEF returned to hosting events with a bang! We came out of the gate strong, thanks first and foremost, to our committed volunteers. The results so far have been outstanding. Overall spending per attendee is up from 2019. Where allowed, attendance was higher than the record 2019 numbers. This success is a tribute to the dedication of RMEF volunteers, members, donors and staff, who realize how vital our mission is, now more than ever, as a record number of folks are taking up or rediscovering the healing balm of outdoor activities amid the pandemic.
Below is a summary of some Big Game Banquets (BGB) that occurred since reopening on June 13th.
- June 13th weekend: North Dakota and Idaho raised just under $80,123 net for the first post-shutdown banquets.
- June 20th weekend: Pennsylvania raised $46,850 on two banquets. This was also positive over 2019.
- June 27th weekend: Idaho and Texas combined to raise $161,453.
- July 11th weekend: Idaho and Oklahoma had an impressive increase over 2019 with more attendees and a total of $48,000 net.
Many other event activities are making a difference as well in our fundraising! For information about our successful online auctions see “Online auctions a bright spot amid challenges” in this issue of Wapiti Wire. Some states have been doing a weekly raffle for 14 weeks strong, generating gross revenue north of $150,000. I want to stress to everyone that we appreciate everything that you have done and continue to do for RMEF’s mission. It all adds up. Whether you’re able to pull off a BGB, have a livestream gun bash, an online auction, a sweepstakes, a weekly raffle, sell memberships, sponsors and more. Thank you for not giving up and working to ensure the mission of RMEF will thrive for years to come.
One team, one voice!
Yours in conservation,
RMEF Vice President of Field Operations