Neil Jacobs and Doug Dent, volunteers, observing the action during the annual Ducks Unlimited Dinner and Auction on March 17 at the 100 Mile Community Hall. Brendan Kyle Jure photo.

Ducks Unlimited Dinner and Auction brings 135 people to 100 Mile House Community Hall

One of the local chapter’s biggest fundraisers of the year

Ducks Unlimited had their 33rd annual dinner and auction on March 17 at the 100 Mile Community Hall.

“It went very well, everybody was having a good time and spending lots of money,” said Chris Nickless, the local chapter’s chair. The event had roughly 135 attendees.

The entry and auction proceeds go to the preservation of wetlands in the South Cariboo such as the 100 Mile Marsh, 130 Mile Wetlands and Walker Valley.

“Obviously, if we lose our wetlands we lose our waterfowls and the whole system falls apart, so we’ve got to protect the wetlands,” said Nickless.

According to the Ducks Unlimited website, the country loses up to 80 acres of wetlands every day to various causes such as human encroachment, changes in weather patterns and natural disasters such as wildfires. Wetlands also have many benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gases and protection from drought and protecting various species of wildlife.

The local chapter will not know how much money they raised in the auction until March 23 or after and do not know where the money will be used.

“Ducks Unlimited are looking at wetlands right across the country, so they determine what wetlands need more help than the others,” explained Nickless.

Also according to the organization’s website, the prairies have lost up to 90 per cent of its wetlands due to the practice of draining them through digging ditches to create more viable farming lands.

Closer to home, the Okanagan Valley has seen a loss of 85 per cent of its wetlands due to the development and human encroachment, according to the Okanagan Region section of the Ministry of the Environment.

The auction items at the dinner were donated by Ducks Unlimited and local businesses, artists and residents. A gazebo, automatic basketball game, leather armchair, a $1,000 sculpture and artwork were all up for grabs. Door prizes were also given out, as well as a prize for the best St. Patrick’s Day costume.

Usually held in the fall, the chapter decided to move the event to the Spring just to shake things up said Nickless.

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