Oklahoma Safari Club Banquet March 8th

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Outdoor enthusiasts can contribute to important state conservation projects supported by the Oklahoma Station Chapter of Safari Club International by attending their 23rd Annual Awards Banquet and Charity Fundraiser Saturday, March 8 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma Station Chapter of Safari Club International offers support and funding to a number of sportsmen's causes, especially local efforts that benefit the sportsmen and wildlife of Oklahoma. The chapter is a sponsor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Oklahoma Wildlife Expo and a donor to the Hunter's Against Hunger program, which oversees the distribution of thousands of pounds of hunter-harvested venison to needy families.

The organization also helped fund the purchase of an airboat used by the Wildlife Department on waterfowl surveys and other wetland management tasks, and they provided the Department with a 24-foot trailer for use in the Department's Shotgun Training Education Program (STEP). The STEP program introduces both youth and adults to shotgun shooting techniques and the proper handling of firearms. Additionally, the chapter purchased eight elk for introduction into an existing herd in southeast Oklahoma. The chapter also sponsors the Department's annual youth essay contest, which gives youth the opportunity to share their feelings about Oklahoma's outdoors and to win great prizes, including a guided pronghorn antelope hunt in New Mexico.

One of the highlights of the annual event is the live auction, where bidders have a chance to buy guided hunts in Oklahoma, across the United States and around the world. There also will be a selection of items on the auction block including art, firearms, camping equipment, vacations, jewelry and much more.

This year's banquet also may offer something new to those who cannot attend through its online bidding option. Log on to www.oklahomastationsci.org regularly between now and the banquet to learn more about the possibility of bidding online for auction items. The Web site also provides a growing list of items up for auction.

The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8, but registration begins at 5:30 p.m. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is located at 1700 N.E. 63rd St. Oklahoma City 73111.

Tickets may be purchased in advance through Thursday, March 6 for $75 or at the door for $100. To purchase tickets or for further information, contact Verilea Faust at (405) 721-7229 or 1-800-405-3580 or e-mail faust4v@pldi.net. For questions relating to the hunts that will be auctioned, contact Safari Club director Mike Mistelske at mjmistelske@yahoo.com

For more information on the Oklahoma Station Chapter of Safari Club International, log on to www.oklahomastationsci.org