By Sven K. Lindquist, SCI President
This time of the year is often referred to as the fundraising season because so many SCI chapters hold their annual fundraisers during this period. I cannot overstress how important chapter fundraisers are for both the chapters themselves and the international organization as a whole. Most of the revenue generated at these fundraisers is used for local projects, with only 30% going to SCI headquarters where it helps fund the organization’s mission programs.
This funding is important in our mission to save hunting from the endless lies and attacks of anti-hunting groups. We are all in this together, which means that we all benefit whenever any of us is successful. Much of SCI’s strength is in its chapter network. This is where local activities feed the global fight to save hunting. While this is a serious topic, the truth is that chapter fundraisers are also a whole lot of fun. There is nothing that says we can’t have fun while we take care of business.
With that in mind, I encourage all members to attend any and all chapter fundraisers near your homes. They are great places to meet new friends, and for members to personally help our noble cause. They are also excellent places to bid on exciting hunts and hunting gear.
To accomplish our crucial mission of protecting the freedom to hunt and promoting the conservation of wildlife worldwide, it takes many thousands of members; many hundreds of local, national and international volunteer workers; and more than 150 active and successful chapters around the world. As each of us progresses along our personal hunting journey, there are opportunities to do more, help more and become more involved. For many members, this means becoming active at the chapter level. For some, activities at the chapter level can lead to even more commitment in the form of becoming part of the volunteer leadership of SCI. That’s the way it worked for me, and I can say that it is a fulfilling journey.
That is one of the many beauties of SCI. Our organization’s structure has a place for everyone to be involved. It all starts with the desire to help. We are all members of SCI because we are hunters. Simply being a member of SCI is important because it increases our size. Increased size means more influence on the advocacy front. As hunters, we have strength in numbers.
For members who want to get more out of SCI, there are several levels of involvement, and one level is at local chapters. From there, some members go on to become regional representatives or directors at large. Usually at those levels, members become involved in one or more of the committees at the international level. This opens the door for possible election to the executive committee or the board of directors and even the presidency. I know because that’s how I became the president of this fantastic organization — it all starts by becoming active in a local chapter.
So, as the fundraising season unfolds, take the first step to become active at the chapter level and get involved in the future of both SCI and hunting. Even for those who are not ready to take the first step toward more commitment, plan to attend at least one local chapter function this year. You’ll have a lot of fun, and who knows where it will lead you.