Randy Anderson, left, Barbara Jones, Nick Cardona, and Sonja Anderson manage the kitchen for the inaugural fundraiser banquet for the Walker Lake Chapter of Delta Waterfowl Nov. 2 at Westwood Community Center. Photos submitted

Delta Waterfowl raises $18,000 at inaugural fundraiser

The Walker Lake Chapter of Delta Waterfowl held its inaugural fundraiser dinner at the Westwood Community Center Nov. 2, in order to raise funds toward a number of the organization’s goals, including increasing populations of local waterfowl and the preservation of their habitats in the Lake Almanor Basin Area, explained Delta Waterfowl Regional Director Jeff Adams.

Both Westwood and Chester residents attended the sold-out banquet, which netted more than $18,000! Diners enjoyed a prime rib entrée with baked potato, vegetables and dessert. Approximately 140 people attended the event.

Philip Lemaster, Chairman of the Walker Lake Chapter of Delta Waterfowl and avid hunter, poses for the camera at the inaugural fundraiser dinner held inside the Westwood Community Center. A portion of the money raised is also utilized to introduce and train new hunters in waterfowl hunting.

The Walker Lake Chapter keeps 15 percent of the funds raised to use on various projects and to give a scholarship to a local senior, noted Westwood High School Administrative Assistant Trena Smith.

Delta Waterfowl received over $4,500 in donations from the event.

“It was a wonderful night,” Adams shared. He said many of the guests formed a sense of camaraderie over the worthy cause.

The banquet included a drawing with prizes donated from the community; plus live and silent auctions were held.

Thirty kids were in attendance and all of them went home with a prize (BB gun, pellet gun, duck calls, hats, slingshots) among other items.

Randy and Sonja Anderson along with Nick and Kara Cardona cooked all the food at the banquet, for which they received several good compliments from guests, according to organizers.

Adams wanted to thank the many Westwood High School students who volunteered their time and energy, including FFA Chapter members who set up the event, served the meals and cleaned up afterwards. “They were a huge help.”

Students also received a percentage of the night’s proceeds for FFA activities totaling $1,000 from the Delta Waterfowl/Walker Lake Chapter and from “pass the hat” guest donations.

Adams said the remainder of monies raised would go to research projects undertaken by the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, a non-profit organization that operates in both Canada and in the United States whose mission is to provide knowledge, leaders and science-based solutions that efficiently conserve waterfowl and secure the future for waterfowl hunting.

Each chapter of Delta Waterfowl invests back into the local community, for example building nesting platforms and undertaking small restoration habitat projects, said Adams.

Nesting platforms consist of wooden and welded-metal structures that would be located near the shoreline of Lake Almanor to help protect nesting populations, but only after permission is secured from PG&E, the owners of the lake, “so the exact location where the structures will be placed has not yet been determined,” he said.

When ducks use nesting platforms, it increases the net success rate of hatchlings from a low of 15 percent in their natural habitat to as high of 90 percent, he claimed, because the structures are designed to elevate nests above the water line and away from predators.

The platforms are built by Walker Lake Chapter Committee members, and should be available to install in the early spring.

Smith said that the Walker Lake Chapter is working with Nils Lunder of the Feather River Land Trust and also the Mountain Meadows Conservancy with some upcoming projects next month that will involve help from the Westwood High School science classes.

Adams concluded by saying, “We definitely appreciate the community and all the contributions that they gave at our inaugural event.”

For more information about the organization and to join the Walker Lake Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, contact Philip Lemaster at 616-9075. Website: deltawaterfowl.org.