2020 Wisconsin TU Banquet One to Remember

By Scott Allen, WITU Vice Chair and 2020 Banquet Chair.


The 2020 State Council fundraising and awards banquet in early February was a rousing success. About 250 members and guests attended the event to honor dedicated volunteers and conservation professionals receiving recognition.


They also had a chance to take home some of the $24,000 worth of raffle and auction donations. Raffle sales, silent auctions and live auctions generated close to $25,000 for the Council and our conservation causes.


Volunteer efforts and local chapter support were again keys to the banquet’s success. The Banquet Committee was outstanding in both planning and execution. The Council is fortunate to have Carmen Hardin as prize coordinator, Linn Beck as volunteer coordinator, Paul Kruse as donations acquisition coordinator and Todd Franklin in charge of awards.


Our donors really came though this year with an amazing array of prizes. We’d like to thank the individual donors and all the chapters that made prize and cash contributions.


The Council would also like to thank our sponsors for their generous support.


The Council would like to thank the many volunteers who performed so many tasks leading up to and during the banquet. Their efforts are critical to making an event like this run smoothly. Whether arranging prizes, staffing entry tables, selling raffle tickets or demonstrating how to tie some cool-looking flies, we had an enthusiastic group willing to donate their time.


We’d like to thank Henry Koltz for being our Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Hank did a great job of entertaining the crowd, touting our successes and keeping the event moving along. Auctioneer Ron Gardner tossed tight loops to the audience and landed record amounts for several guided trips.


We also have a very generous group of Wisconsin fishing guides who donated guided trips: Dave Barron of Jaquish Hollow Angler; Erik Helm of Classical Angler; Hunter Dorn of Wisconsin Fly Fishing Company; Craig Amacker of Madison Fly Fishing Company. Also, Duke Welter donated two one-day Driftless Area hosted trips.


The 50/50 raffle was popular again, with proceeds supporting the WITU Youth Fishing Camp. We raised more than $780 for the camp this year, and the lucky winner ended up with a pocket full of cash. Special thanks to Nate Ratliff and Bonnie Richards for handling the ticket sales.


Wisconsin TU has become a force in the conservation community because of the efforts of many of our members, conservation professionals, corporate sponsors and others. We honored many of these efforts during the awards ceremony.


There was plenty to see, too. Local artist Adam Zins (azcreativeart.com) displayed his original trout-inspired paintings, donated a cash commission from the sale of his largest displayed painting, and also donated a framed print. Thank you Adam and Tanya Zins!


Volunteers who made the banquet a success include Carmen Hardin, Paul Kruse, Boyd Roessler, Mike Stupich, Jen Kuhr, Jason Freund, Mike Kuhr, Gary Stoychoff, Laura and John Tucker, Gary Horvath, Scott Wagner, Nate Ratliff, Bonnie Richards, Scott Grady, Myk Hranika, Terry Cummings, Henry Koltz, Ron Gardner, Wayne Parmley and Linn Beck.


Please make plans to join us on Saturday, February 6, 2021 in Oshkosh. It’s sure to be another fun evening. If you’d like to get involved with banquet planning or banquet awards, contact Scott Allen at jscottallen12@gmail.com or 608-495-1482.