GNWA Jamboree attendance higher than ever

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan Auctioneer Buddy Foxwell used his skills to help raise money for the Grand National Waterfowl Association. He was assisted by Chelsea Dunnock.

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Auctioneer Buddy Foxwell used his skills to help raise money for the Grand National Waterfowl Association. He was assisted by Chelsea Dunnock.

CAMBRIDGE — The 36th Annual Grand National Waterfowl Hunt took place over the weekend, attracting enthusiastic locals and visitors to the celebration of culture, commerce and natural resources. A variety of events were offered from Thursday through Saturday, with highlights – aside from the actual hunting – being the public Jamboree on Friday, and the awards dinner and auction on Saturday.

Grand National Waterfowl Association (GNWA) President Tracie Whitely said on Friday that the day’s hunt had gone well, and attendance at the Jamboree in Governor’s Hall at Sailwinds Park was greater than organizers had even hoped for.

With a nod to the stage, where Bird Dog and the Roadkings were playing their popular brand of rocking country, Ms. Whitely said, “It’s their 34th Grandtastic Jamboree.”

That musical tradition joined others at the yearly celebration of Eastern Shore food, art and interest in maintaining the environment and its resources.

“The Grand National Waterfowl Association is a nonprofit, tax-exempt Dorchester County organization founded in 1982 by a group of men and women interested in promoting business interests compatible with the wildlife and natural resources once so abundant in the ‘Land of a Thousand Salt Marshes,’” a statement from GNWA said. “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.”

The group has no salaried executives. It is funded by membership dues, donations and fund-raising events. The GNWA is also involved in charitable activities, notably its scholarship program for local students.

As the awards banquet got underway on Saturday, a moment of silence was observed in honor of Tommy Collins and Betty Ridgely, both strong supporters of the organization who died this year. Ms. Ridgely’s husband David, also a stalwart of the GNWA, died in 2017.

“They were so kind and always smiling and laughing,” Ms. Whitely wrote in a statement. “We will miss them all dearly.”

The banquet continued with award presentations and concluded with a live auction conducted by Buddy Foxwell.

To learn more about the GNWA, call 410-228-0111, or email grandnationalwaterfowl@gmail.com

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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