COVID-19 restrictions forced Wyoming Outdoorsmen to cancel its annual banquet — leading to reduced funding for the group — but the nonprofit organization is continuing with various …
COVID-19 restrictions forced Wyoming Outdoorsmen to cancel its annual banquet — leading to reduced funding for the group — but the nonprofit organization is continuing with various projects, as it copes the best it can with the pandemic.
Janet Stambaugh, the newly elected president of Wyoming Outdoorsmen, said the Cody-based group usually puts more than $85,000 “back on the ground” on projects in the community and surrounding areas. However, with this year’s banquet being called off, “we are working with less than half that,” Stambaugh said.
Still, the organization is awarding five, $1,000 scholarships this fall, to Sloane Asay, Alexandria Livingston, Gus Mahieu, Sydnie Stambaugh and Anthony Kluesner.
Wyoming Outdoorsmen will also continue to sponsor the “First Hunt Program” for first-time youth and women hunters, the Game and Fish Department’s Bear Aware program, Beyond Bow, hunter education classes and continue a Predator Program on a much smaller scale this fall and next spring.
The outdoorsmen have also provided funding for youth groups such as the 4-H Sharpshooters and Scholastic Clay and are funding some signs for the Park County 4-H Sure Shots Archery Club.
The nonprofit organization will consider requests on a first come, first-served basis from organizations and youth groups that fall under the group’s mission statement goals until funds run out, Janet Stambaugh said.
With up to 750 members attending each banquet, “there was just no way” Wyoming Outdoorsmen’s marquee fundraising event could be held this year amid COVID-19 restrictions, she said.
Roughly 400 tickets had already been sold for the banquet and the tickets will be honored for the 2021 fundraiser; organizers are hoping to sell another 400. Items donated by businesses and individuals for the live and silent auctions will remain in storage, awaiting the day when the actual fundraiser event can take place. The banquet is tentatively scheduled for April 3, 2021.
Stambaugh said the organization does not support any political agendas or politicians, but “we are active in any outdoor and wildlife issues and stay diligent in what is going on in our community and country.”
There are no paid board members or administrators “and we take a lot of pride in that,” she said. “All the money we raise ‘goes back on the ground’ to meet our mission statement goals ...”
Those are “to plan for the future of Wyoming’s outdoors by working closely with related entities to improve wildlife habitat and conservation through quality wildlife management programs, and to encourage youth and family involvement in our western outdoor heritage.” Since starting seven years ago, Wyoming Outdoorsmen has put more than $410,000 toward those goals, Stambaugh said.
For more information, visit www.wyomingoutdoorsmen.org.