Blain County Wildlife Museum banquet and auction slated for Feb. 3
Susan McDaniel Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The Blaine County Wildlife Museum’s last large exhibit, Peaks to Plains, is beginning construction with a Murdock Foundation award of $45,000, with an additional $30,000 dollar-to-dollar match. With $6,500 matching funds raised to date, the annual Banquet and Auction fundraiser, scheduled for Feb. 3, will assist board members in attaining the matching funds. Acorn Exhibits is currently at work on the Peaks to Plains exhibit. The third exhibit will feature mountain sheep, goats, deer and antelope in a background that will extend from mountains to prairie. The anticipated completion date for the newest project is the end of 2007. The Wildlife Museum currently features two large displays; a buffalo jump and wetlands diorama. All three exhibits have been designed by Acorn Exhibits. The community of Havre and the Hi-Line have given their support for this project over the past 15 years. Havre businessman Wally Duchscher believes that the museum is a great way to bring tourism dollars to the area. “Tourism is free money to us,” Duchscher said. “The exhibits are a great way to bring people to the area ... everyone who walked away from the buffalo jump display was awestruck by the exhibit. The displays feature a three dimensional view. The buffalo jump has full bodied buffalo mounts and rocks coming off a hill and suspended in mid-air and the wetlands display is like being out in the slough with the ducks and beaver right there.” Many local businesses have contributed to the annual fund-raiser year after year, as well as attending the banquet and auction. All of the support means a great deal to the board and is so important to the success of the Wildlife Museum. Duchscher became involved when the first banquet was held. “At that time they were raising money for a new roof and other repairs. Then money was needed for mounts and displays,” Duchscher said. “The initial plan was to promote our area, to depict all the different aspects of what the area was like.” One of the constant supporters, Duchscher, has been a significant contributor to the Adopt-An-Animal program the museum offers. Supporters of the Wildlife Museum may adopt an animal that will be placed in an exhibit. They are recognized on an engraved plaque to be displayed with the permanent exhibit. This program may be used to lend your support, or as a memorial to a loved one. Duchscher has adopted 10 animals over the years. “I purchase animals to help the museum itself, not really as a memorial to anyone,” Duchscher said. “I look forward to it every year. It’s an evening of socializing and fun and I go with the intent of buying a game mount.” All proceeds from this year’s banquet and auction will go towards the matching funds for the Murdock Grant. The benefit starts off with an art and auction preview, followed by a prime rib dinner and auction. Tickets are $30 per person and are available at Western Bank and Wells Fargo in Chinook. They are also available from any of the board members: Sheri Nicholson, Scott MacKenzie, Dave Taylor, Debra Davies, Fred Langford, Jude Sheppard, LuAnn Burkhartsmeyer, Bill Harbolt Jr. And Roger Jergeson.