The Alabama Chapter holds bimonthly chapter meetings the third Tuesday of every other month. These meetings start with a Board of Directors meeting followed by a cocktail hour, dinner and one or two programs put on by members.
These programs can be presentations of recent hunts, informative information such as the use of airguns now allowed by the State of Alabama, trapping instructions, health issues related to high altitude hunting, displays of unique and historic firearms, deer breeding information, feral hog problems, and any other hunting or conservation issues that we should be aware of. Our meeting attendance ranges from 55 to 85 people, mostly dependent on what programs are to be offered.
At the latest Regional Rep Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. the issue of “change” was a topic that interested me quite a bit. I had just witnessed drastic changes that were made in two of my chapter’s fundraisers. These changes resulted in an increased attendance, a more enthusiastic audience, and ultimately a much better net profit for the chapters.
In an effort to get our members more involved and getting to know one another, we started having outdoor events that are very informal and most of all “FUN.” Such events as Continental pheasant shoots, dove shoots, sporting clay events, and hosting events for wounded veterans, handicapped, disabled and terminally ill youth.
Over the years at our bimonthly meetings I noticed how much the members enjoyed the very informal cocktail hour where they were able to mingle with one another, sharing photos of their latest adventures, getting caught up on what had been going on since the last meeting, etc. Sometimes it was almost difficult to change this atmosphere and get the crowd seated for dinner.
To capitalize on this observation, we decided to have a meeting with no programs or formalities, just an extended “cocktail hour.” The location of this meeting was Ralph Marcum’s new trophy room. This is a 6,000-square-foot room complete with dioramas, mountains full of sheep and ibex, beautifully done habitat scenes and hundreds of mounts of animals from all over the world.
Tables were set in the trophy room to accommodate the more than 70 guests who arrived. The event was catered. Wine and beer were provided.
To say that the event was a success would be an understatement. Change and diversity will be the thought process for our future chapter activities--Randall Bush Regional Representative