Saturday, February 14, 2009

Speaking of "hunting is for everyone" ...

I've been to a lot of duck dinners since I became a hunter, but the California Waterfowl dinner I went to Friday night was something special.

Part of what made it special for me was that I'd been working on this dinner for the past year, attending lots of early-morning conference calls, organizing, begging for items we could auction or raffle off.

But it would've been amazing to me even if I hadn't been involved as an organizer, because this duck dinner was about women - it was the Valentine's Daddy Daughter Dinner, celebrating women in waterfowling. The only thing that was cooler than all the women hunters in the room was all the little girls - dressed to the nines - who have already begun to join us in the duck blinds.

Check it out:



Special thanks to the folks at Alpen Optics, Cabela's, Prois Hunting Apparel and SHE Safari who came through and donated women's hunting gear for the auction and raffle. You helped Cal Waterfowl raise a lot of money, and you showed all the women at this dinner that there really is hunting gear for us.

© Holly A. Heyser 2009



13 comments:

Josh said...

I would have loved to have taken my little girl...

Live to Hunt.... said...

Holly - I was so sad to have missed it. Events worked out such that me and The Girl couldn't get down to Pleasanton in time for the festivities. I guess we'll have to look forward to next year.

Phillip said...

Turns out I could've made it to that event! Dangit!

Sounds like a blast, and kudos to all the committee members who put it together.

NorCal Cazadora said...

I'll be very interested to see how the numbers went. The economy is tough - people are getting good deals in auctions.

But this dinner had one key difference from other duck dinners: no "raffle girls" dressed in provocative outfits waving their cleavage in front of men at the table. Seemed to me like people were still engaged...

And Phillip and Josh, we haven't started planning yet for next year, but I think there's a good chance we could do one of these again, so you may yet get your chance.

It was sooooooo gratifying to see how many dads were excited to be with their little girls. The dancing was especially cute. Made me very sad that I don't still have my dad.

SimplyOutdoors said...

I can't wait until my daughter and I can share in experiences such as this.

It looks like you did an excellent job helping to get everything together.

Deer Passion said...

Looks like it was a wonderful dinner and all your work paid off! It's great seeing the young girls already starting to enjoy the outdoors and hunting!

gary said...

Sounds like everyone had a great time, thats important for the youngen's coming up. Congrats on the success, I know those things just don't happen.

Kristine said...

Such cute pictures. Those images of the little girls dancing with their Dads were so precious. Looks like a great night.

Native said...

Sorry that I could not make this one Holly although, my daughter will be 4 years of age next time, and I believe by then, that year will make the difference in her understanding of what it will be all about.

I hope the invitation is extended for that one as well!

sportingdays said...

Glad to hear the dinner was such a success. I generally enjoy those CWA fundraising dinners.

However, I took my wife a few years ago to her first CWA duck dinner and she was really turned off by the raffle girls and all the alcohol. It was a pretty mild event, in my opinion, but my wife told me never to take her to one of those dinners again.

We're not teetotalers by any stretch of the imagination, but those events really push the booze to help loosen up the wallets, fuel the testosterone, and jack up the spending and bidding on auction items.

My wife thought the atmosphere really sent a bad message to kids -- boys and girls -- and reinforced so many negative stereotypes about hunting. This from a woman who got engaged at a duck club and is super supportive of hunting.

She didn't think those duck dinners, as currently constructed, would ever appeal to women and families. Maybe it's time to rethink these fundraising dinners to make them more family friendly? I know I would go to more if I could bring my wife and young boys. That's just not an option now.

NorCal Cazadora said...

You can bring them to these. That's been a topic of much discussion on our committee.

"Booze, boobs and boom" are highly effective at raising money at these dinners, but folks are aware it's not very family-friendly.

sportingdays said...

I'm glad the Pleasanton event exists. However, most of us can't run all over the state for the one or two kid-family friendly CWA events that takes place once or twice a year.

At most of these "booze, boobs and boom" events you almost always see kids or young people there -- accompanying their dads or the local high school football team waiting on tables. We're just reinforcing bad stereotypes for the next generation of hunters.

Maybe it's time for CWA to require every local chapter to offer a family-friendly event in addition to the fundraising dinner. Can't have one without the other, kind of thing. Maybe this could distinguish a local CWA chapter from every other fundraising conservation group out there -- Rocky Mountain Elk, Pheasants Forever, DU, California Deer Association etc.

While I support many of these organizations with my dollars, I might choose to get involved or volunteer with the one organization that's promoting family-friendly activities in my local area in addition to the ubiquitous "booze, boobs and boom" events.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry I missed talking to you Holly. My wife and I were there and enjoyed the dinner and the entire evening very much.

Great Video!

DuckFan (Rick)