More than 150 volunteers and supporters joined First Vice President Paul Bonderson Jr. for Ducks Unlimited's third annual Blackhawk Diamond Gala at the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville, California. Bonderson, who chaired the event, attributed the success of this year's gala to the unwavering dedication of co-hosts Doug Federighi and Pepper Snyder. "They really stepped up on behalf of DU, working tirelessly to put on a great event," he said.
Seated amid the world-renowned Blackhawk collection of vintage cars, attendees bid on a select group of unique auction items such as the Pacific Flyway Hunt of a Lifetime, an exclusive weeklong hunting experience with private jet service and unmatched accommodations. Other auction items included first-class fishing at the Lodge at Gold River on Vancouver Island, British Columbia; luxury vacations in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Stillwater Cove at Lake Tahoe; a South American wingshooting excursion in Uruguay; and a piece of 1970s rock-and-roll history-a Takamine acoustic guitar autographed by Glenn Frey, a founding member of the Eagles.
This year's gala netted $210,000, making it the state's most successful event for the third year in a row. "Once again, the Blackhawk Diamond Gala was a resounding success," said California State Chairman Mark Low, who emceed the event.
"The "˜Raise the Paddle' challenge that evening brought in more than $100,000, which will benefit wetlands and waterfowl and help preserve our hunting traditions. I also want to add my special thanks to Assistant State Chairman John Faires and the rest of the committee for all their hard work."