Kentucky Ducks Unlimited Volunteer Appreciation Weekend

It's that time of year again! Time for the Kentucky Ducks Unlimited Volunteer Appreciation Weekend. What's that you say? Not familiar with the Volunteer Appreciation Weekend? Well the Kentucky State Council has decided to transform our State Convention into a Volunteer Appreciation Weekend. We would like to use this very established and enjoyable time to celebrate our accomplishments throughout the last year and honor the ones who have made it happen, OUR VOLUNTEERS.

We have a fun-filled weekend planned with top notch activities and inspirational and informative educational programs to bolster those of you who have worked so hard to make the mission of DU successful in Kentucky. There will also be free prizes given away during the weekend to lucky attendees including a Mossberg AR35 .22 caliber rifle and other notable merchandise. Our goal is to have you leave the weekend refreshed, invigorated, and ready to hit the ground running to make 2015 an even better year for KYDU and our shared vision to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever. As always, the weekend is open to all DU members and their families and activities will be available for everyone. The event will be held at Lure Lodge, Lake Cumberland State Resort Park in Jamestown, KY on March 20, 21, and 22, 2015.  This is the event of the year if you're a DU volunteer or member, so don't miss it.

Our weekend will start off Friday afternoon with the KYDU Conservation Committee Meeting at Pumpkin Creek Lodge on the park premises at 1:00 pm. Everyone is invited. The evening's festivities will begin to take shape with real Kentucky flair as we gather at the Activity Center adjacent to Lure Lodge. Our meal will be BBQ featuring some of the best smoked pork shoulder and fixings you ever put in your mouth. It will be prepared by Hog Wild Bar-B-Que of Tompkinsville, KY. The Lure Lodge chefs will have fish available for those of you observing Lent. The evening will continue with a bourbon tasting hosted by Bruce Burkett of the Lake Cumberland Chapter of DU. Bruce is very knowledgeable about bourbons and will provide interesting insights into the making, character and flavors of various bourbon whiskeys.

Alan Mosley with Kentucky Gentleman Cigars will be on hand to discuss cigar making in the Commonwealth and provide an opportunity to enjoy some of their product out on the veranda later that evening. The evening will also feature digital horse racing with six races running throughout the night. A number of our chapters will be operating fun games throughout the evening as well. There will also be an activity for the kids that evening so everyone will be involved in the fun. But most of all we want Friday night to be a time of fellowship and an opportunity to get re-acquainted with our DU friends across the state.

Our feature program will be held on Saturday morning the 21st. The morning session proves to be a time to inspire, instill, motivate and educate us to continue the great work of DU. Our speakers that morning include Ducks Unlimited CEO, Dale Hall. Other invited guests will include Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Greg Johnson. Throughout the morning we will be conducting seminars relating to various DU functions to celebrate our accomplishments and provide direction and education to improve upon those accomplishments for the coming year. We will also have instruction and demonstrations concerning decoy carving, call making, and other forms of wildlife artwork. Also slated for our viewing will be the winning submissions in each age category for the Kentucky Junior Duck Stamp Contest. The contest will be judged the opening day of the convention at the nearby Wolf Creek Fish Hatchery and we will be the first to see the winning pieces of art.

The Saturday luncheon will include special recognition by the KYDU Conservation Committee as they present the Jim Monyahan Award. This award is for outstanding contributions to waterfowl/wetlands education in support of DU's mission in Kentucky. Other important recognitions will be made by our state chairman, Kenny Vaughn at this time.

Saturday afternoon activities include tours of the internal workings of Wolf Creek Dam, the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery Natural History Exhibit, and the nearly completed Hatchery Creek which is a 1.25 mile, state-of-the-art, manmade trout stream. This stream, when completed, will be reminiscent of western mountain trout streams and open for public trout fishing. The afternoon will be completed with a major donor reception on Lake Cumberland aboard Bruce Jasper's houseboat "Doc Duck". "Doc Duck" is moored at State Dock located within the State Park and very near Lure Lodge. The major donor reception is open to all weekend participants.

The Saturday evening activities will culminate with the Volunteer Appreciation Awards Banquet honoring our hard working volunteers. Recognition will be made for accomplishments of chapter goals and state awards in the established categories. A silent auction will be ongoing throughout the banquet including unique and unusual items not found at local DU banquets, exciting hunting trips and other excursions sure to be a hit.

Sunday morning we will feature our "Conservation Church" service, followed by the State Business Meeting which will include the election of our new State Chair Elect.

As always, the Ducks Unlimited Store with be open throughout the weekend to purchase DU apparel and other accessories.

We have reduced the registration fees for this event to make it more affordable for everyone. The new price structure is as follows:

Single Attendee for the Weekend: $50.00
Couple: $90.00
College: $40.00
Greenwing: $1.00
Saturday Evening Only Single: $30.00
Saturday Evening Only Couple: $40.00

For more information, to register for this event and reserve your rooms go to www.ducks.org and click on the Kentucky Link or use the DU mobile app. Also, if you would like to mail in your registration and payment, please send it to Kentucky Ducks Unlimited, P.O. Box 77, Frankfort, KY 40602.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact Jeff Adams by email at jadams@twc.com or by cell at (606) 305-7100.