The Memphis, Tenn., Ducks Unlimited chapter earns its way into the chapter spotlight this month with its most recent event, the Pigs in Flight BBQ Competition, held in March. Over the course of the four-day event, the Memphis Chapter played host to more than 1,500 guests and drummed up tremendous support for DU's conservation mission.
Waterfowling and barbecue have long been southern traditions. For the first time in the Memphis area, DU brought the two together for this weekend-long competition and festival. The event included live and silent auctions and raffles, culminating in an awards presentation for the best barbecue. As a sanctioned event through the Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN), the grand champion of the DU competition, the Red Hot Smokers, also earned a spot in the annual MBN Championship.
"To have the kind of response from the community that this event received in its first year is overwhelming," said Will Johnson, DU regional director for west Tennessee and southeast Missouri, who coordinated the Pigs in Flight event. "We rely heavily on these fundraisers to achieve our conservation goals. It is inspiring to see grassroots efforts getting so much support."
Johnson said the great success of the event's inaugural run has guaranteed a second Pigs in Flight competition in 2011.
"I was most proud of the number of attendees who were introduced to Ducks Unlimited's vision for the first time," said Tal Goldsby, area chairman for the Memphis Chapter. "These were people who had no idea what Ducks Unlimited does for conservation. Overall, we expect to grow this even in many different ways, especially by welcoming more sponsors, vendors and teams to join us next year."