Dear Volunteers,
I hope this finds you well and thank you again for helping RMEF continue our mission of Working for Wildlife. We had an active year with banquets, sport shows, elk calf capture and public events. This year was another interesting challenge in that many of you held banquets at a different time of year and some others changed up their usual format. I’m glad to say that it worked and looking forward, we see a return to a more usual schedule.

In addition to managing a banquet I’d like everyone to consider a simple event during the week. Many chapters did not have a full complement of volunteers during covid restrictions. In some cases we booked a venue, had an open buffet, had sell-out raffles then simply did more until the spending slowed down. There was no live auction and we managed these events with a small complement of volunteers. I thought this was great in the fact that we “did something”. Many of our attendees are regulars and they definitely appreciated the effort to gather up our folks for a get-together. This format is not hard to manage and can run from 5:30-8:30 and even on a weekday. Since it is not a banquet, these are easy to set up and manage. I would ask anyone to consider this format to do
something or as a supplement to your banquet at a different time of year and maybe at a different venue.

This year at the NRA Great American Outdoor Show we had our new RMEF Eastern Booth and we set up a table and chairs for our volunteers to relax as part of our display. The show was successful
in having volunteers from other chapters pitching-in and help generate membership to include: 248 Supporting, 29 Team Elk, 3 Sportsman and 7 Life! Thanks again to everyone who helped in our success.

I really appreciate and enjoy working with all our chapters very much. It seems at every staff meeting issues get brought to the collective that just do not apply to us in terms of banquet management, chapter leadership and how we run our events. I have seen many of you effectively manage things and lead with great effectiveness. There will always be issues of improvements, and new things to try with some old things to not try again. I feel many of you have figured out that there are no right and wrongs out here other than to stay on policy, stay on a budget and treat our people fairly. With that approach, we have effectively raised significant funds for RMEF and our Mission while making the most out of our time and building a few friendships along the way.

BANQUET OPERATIONS AND IDEAS.
One of the things I regularly track because of the importance, is what time the banquets start (doors open) and what time food is served. Several chapters have moved from a dinner to a lunch and
many have started serving food with an open buffet as soon as the doors open. When the food is served and when it ends, has the greatest impact on how long the banquets last. Keeping banquets to about 3.5 – 4 hours seems the most reasonable.

The most important thing any chapter can do for success is communicate. I look towards our chapter chairs to do that or see that it gets done on their committee. It is not necessary to do this on any set schedule but rather to ensure that folks know in general terms what is going on and when the next step is for the committee. I have always tried leading by example here by writing two or three newsletters annually with additional updates throughout the year

Many chapters have removed the Silent Auction from their banquet. Overall we’ve seen many SA’s with RMEF and RMEF Vendor merchandise utilized to make a very small profit, loose money, take up lots of table space, take up a lot of time to write up the bid sheets, pull the sheets, transcribe the info to the poster boards then do the payment processing on each of these items. We can use the same merchandise in raffles, or use the same budget for these items, in raffles to make a higher profit, use less tables and less volunteer time to manage them.
I feel donated items area great items for any SA.

A WARM WELCOME FOR A NEW CHAPTER
I’d like to welcome a new chapter to our fold, Shawnee on the Delaware in Shawnee on DE, PA. We held our first banquet this year which was a luncheon in late Spring and are moving to a dinner format in mid-winter next year. It is always fun to see our growth of RMEF here locally and welcome aboard Shawnee on the Delaware!

Listed below are some pics from our local chapters that I took. Some banquets are in various stages of the day and you can get an idea on some different venues and such. These are all 2022 events and I greatly thank each and every one of them for making something happen for RMEF locally. Many of these banquets were held at a nontraditional time for them and I am proud of everyone for doing something for RMEF!

 

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