Retired veterinarian and Ducks Unlimited Gold Legacy Sponsor Grant Brees developed a passion for the prairies of Montana while hunting with DU Manager of Conservation Programs Bob Sanders in the northeast part of the state. It was a sharp contrast to Grant’s home state of Maine. Grant and Bob soon envisioned a strategy to encourage others to get involved in conserving wildlife habitat in this important region. They called it the Grant Brees Prairie Legacy.
Grant challenged the Glasgow, Montana, DU chapter to grow its sponsor program, and he offered $25,000 as a match. Last June, nearly 100 sponsors stepped up with more than $26,000 to match Grant’s gift. Area Chairman Ken Jansa gives credit to his committee: “The event was tremendous and was made even more so with Grant’s matching donation. It was our best fundraising event in Glasgow history.”
In August, the Montana state campaign committee held an Evening of Conservation event in southwest Montana to encourage Major Sponsors to support DU’s work on the prairies. Diamond Life Sponsor Dave Dalton generously donated the use of his Cajun Outback North ranch, and local legend Holy Smokes BBQ served their famous brisket. Bob shared information about DU’s conservation progress and encouraged guests to consider taking a leadership role in supporting DU’s mission as Major Sponsors. Grant provided an additional $25,000 incentive gift for this effort, which raised more than $330,000 in new commitments for habitat conservation. “It is a real pleasure working with dedicated conservationists like Dr. Brees,” says Dr. Jack Riesselman, Montana’s state campaign committee chairman. “Through his vision, Ducks Unlimited’s mission of maintaining Montana’s native prairies will see continued success.”