Find an opportunity, make a decision, then hustle. That’s the recipe for success for the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, chapter of Ducks Unlimited, whose banquet has nearly doubled in size in less than a decade.
The numbers tell the story: the chapter’s 2019 event had 520 attendees, 62 firearms raffled, and $123,000 in net profits. That banquet and other activities have earned Lancaster County a spot on DU’s list of President’s Elite chapters.
The Lancaster County chapter will host its 41st annual banquet this April. While it’s long been a successful event with several hundred people in attendance, a few big moves over the past five years have significantly increased attendance and earnings.
Banquet cochair Chad Hohenwarter is happy to share what his chapter has learned. “The biggest thing we’ve worked on is educating people before they get there,” he says.
The committee spends money up front to send a multipage invitation, promoting the numerous raffles and prizes up for grabs. “That way they already know what’s going on, and the seed is planted,” Hohenwarter explains.
And when the doors open, Hohenwarter says the atmosphere is frenzied. “It’s gotten so big there’s always something going on; it’s gangbusters,” he says. “It’s important to never give up and to keep selling. Talk to people and have fun doing it.”