The Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) hosted its first-ever Conservation Classic Banquet & Auction on Thursday, September 16, just outside of Georgia’s Classic City. Sportsmen, women, and conservationists in the area were introduced to SCI and its mission to promote and protect hunting and wildlife conservation.
The inaugural event in northeast Georgia was Georgia SCI’s first fundraising event outside of the metro Atlanta area, allowing the chapter to expand its reach and presence throughout the state. Given the event’s proximity to Athens, GA, the home of the University of Georgia, Georgia SCI used the Conservation Classic as an opportunity to present a check to Dr. Gino D’Angelo of the University of Georgia’s Deer Research Laboratory. The Deer Research Lab, which is housed within the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, is conducting essential whitetail research, including reproductive processes and behaviors, communications, hearing and visual capacities, impact of disease, and more.
“At the University of Georgia Deer Research Laboratory, our mission is to train the next class of wildlife managers, biologists, and researchers who will ensure conservation of our wildlife resources,” stated Dr. Gino D’Angelo of the UGA Deer Lab. “The work of the Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International is vital to our mission and we are honored to call them a partner in conservation. We greatly appreciate their support.”
Prior to the night’s Live Auction, attendees heard from former Georgia Governor and former United States Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. Former Gov. Perdue remains an avid sportsman who can be found in the woods throughout the duration of turkey season and still enjoys chasing Georgia’s famed Bobwhite quail. Gov. Perdue’s comments focused on protecting our way of life in America, and he pointed to groups like SCI working day-in and day-out to defend the rights of hunters.
Funds raised from the inaugural Conservation Classic Banquet & Auction will be used to fund the Georgia Chapter’s education, conservation, and humanitarian efforts in Athens and the surrounding area. The Georgia Chapter hosts an annual youth deer hunt in Commerce at Milner Farm and looks to further develop in the area by adding other events and supporting local programs and initiatives, as well as grow its membership and volunteer base.
“It’s been a goal of the Georgia Chapter of SCI to grow our presence beyond the Atlanta area – telling our story of promoting and protecting the tradition of hunting and wildlife conservation,” said Trevor W. Santos, President-Elect of the Georgia Chapter of SCI. “Given our strong membership in the Athens area, and the youth hunt we host in Commerce, this area appeared to be a great fit for our first fundraising event outside of Atlanta. The community came out to support us and we look forward to continuing our growth here and in other parts of the state.”
The night was made possible by Georgia SCI volunteers, generous donors, and sponsors. Platinum Sponsors of the event included: Loganville Ford, MLW All Phase Construction and Roofing, Broomsedge Rod & Gun, and Lures & Lead. Gold Sponsors included: Benelli USA, Georgia Medical Staffing, Lee & Lisa Friend, and Corrosion Control, Inc. Silver Sponsors included: Barnett Southern, Edward Jones: Michael Housworth, Glasslined Technologies, Bergara Rifles, and Franchi USA. Bronze Sponsors included: CVA, David Belle Isle for Secretary of State, Southern Brewing Co., and Franklin Gun Shop of Athens.