Banquet will help children go hunting

Published 8:41 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

By Staff
Hunters Helping Kidsemphasizes awarenessof environment, safety
Staff Writer
With the 2008-2009 hunting seasons coming to an end in North Carolina, the Pamlico Chapter of Hunters Helping Kids is working to recruit young people interested in learning the skills needed for hunting.
The chapter will hold its second-annual Wildlife Conservation Banquet at the Washington Civic Center at 6 p.m. Jan. 17.
The banquet will help raise money for special-needs or needy children who want to hunt, said Willie Allen, chapter president. The chapter sponsors such young people who have limited opportunities to hunt, teaching them hunting techniques and taking them on hunting trips.
Children who wish to be sponsored by the chapter may sign up for the Ultimate Kids Hunt by going online to and filling out an application. An application is received by the national Hunters Helping Kids organization and, if approved, is sent to the appropriate local chapter.
According to the national organization’s Web site, it is “dedicated to inspire and educate our youth in wildlife conservation and management. It is our belief that by involving our youth in outdoor shooting sports, the desire to preserve the conservation and hunting heritage will endure through future generations.”
The organization preaches safety and conservation to all of its sponsored children.
Conservation is something Allen believes gets lost in translation.
The organization has 23 chapters in Indiana, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas and Virginia.
North Carolina boasts 18 chapters, with several in the state’s eastern region.
The organization was started in the Charlotte region in 2005, said Allen. He formed the local chapter after being contacted by Dale Dodson, national director of operations and who lives in Graham.
Allen sponsored a hunting trip for four children. He donated a lodge, food and guides as part of the outing.
To support the hunts, Allen organized a fundraising banquet last year. He said the banquet, which drew about 220 people, was a big success.
Allen is optimistic this year’s banquet will be even better.
The cost to attend is $35 per person, $60 per couple, $15 per child between 12 and 16 years old and free to children 12 years old or younger.
The banquet will feature rib-eye steaks, shrimp, oysters and baked potatoes, among other eats.
Half of the proceeds from the banquet will go to the local chapter, he said.
Allen said he is proud of the chapter’s sponsors, which hail from as far away as Morehead City.
The sponsors donate guns, ammunition, merchandise, lodging and their time to the children, he said.
As a sponsor, Allen said, it is well worth being involved with the young people who benefit from the banquet and exposure to hunting.