GNWA celebrates hunt, awards scholarships

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Families turned out for the Grand National Waterfowl Association’s 37th Annual Jamboree on Saturday in Governor’s Hall at Sailwinds Park. Ryan and Jessica Lynch brought their baby Ryan to the event.

CAMBRIDGE — The Grand National Waterfowl Association (GNWA) held its 37th Annual Hunt and associated events Nov. 21-23, wrapping up a year in which the organization promoted not only hunting, but also made substantial contributions to education and game management.

The GNWA is a non-profit, tax-exempt local group founded in 1982 to promote business interests compatible with wildlife and natural resources in Dorchester. Hunting has been one of the top commercial activities in the county for many years.

“As a leader in wildfowl management, the GNWA provides funds for professional ornithology research and the redevelopment of wildlife habitat on both private and public land,” a statement from the group said.
The GNWA is also active in educational programs for local students, having established in 2001 the Grand National Waterfowl Educational Trust (GNWET). The trust provides scholarships to qualified students studying at accredited institutions.

“In 2019, four local students received new scholarships, and eight undergraduates received renewable awards for a totals of $14,000,” the statement said. “Since the scholarship program was initiated in 1987, over $287,000 in scholarship money has been awarded.”

“The fourteen students currently receiving four year scholarships and the Trustees of Educational Trust want to express our sincere thanks to the Grand National Waterfowl Association for their generous donation to the scholarship fund,” GNWET Chairman Don Reise said in September, when he received a $10,000 check from the GNWA.

While the scholarships and their recipients look to the future, the GNWA also mourned the loss of men who had supported the group’s growth for many years.

“This year, we lost two members, Adrien Hansen and Barry Smith,” GNWA President Chelsea Riley said. “Both men were instrumental in this organization becoming what it is today. They will be truly missed not only by GNWA, but by the community and people around the world.”

Though much of the three-day hunt’s events were for Association members, the Jamboree on Saturday in Governor’s Hall at Sailwinds Park was open to the public. Local folks and visitors filled the hall, where they enjoyed seafood and the live music of Bird Dog & the Road Kings and Animal House.