Denny Denham had to pay for his own dinner nearly 40 years ago, and it was then he knew he wanted to give more of his support to Ducks Unlimited.

Denham had just finished his first DU banquet volunteering with the Portland, Maine, committee.

Following the successful event, the committee went out to celebrate and grab some food. Denham assumed the event proceeds would cover their dinner as a thank-you for months of hard work.

"Then my committee members told me that we all had to pay for our own dinners, that this was a fundraiser," Denham said. "At that point I knew this was an organization that I wanted to be involved in because they really were raising money for wetlands conservation and they weren't spending it on their own stuff and pats on the back."

Denny and his wife, Midge, now reside in Gray, a half-hour north of Portland, Maine. They have never stopped their Ducks Unlimited support. The Denhams are Diamond Sponsors in Perpetuity, Grand Slam Life Sponsors, and Silver Feather Society members.

Denny gives more than dollars to Ducks Unlimited. He was state chairman in 1989-1990 and is the current state campaign chairman. He's the founding chairperson of the Royal River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited as well.

"It's amazing how Denny inspires others to support DU with his energy and enthusiasm. We are lucky to have such a staunch volunteer and donor," said John Cushman, Ducks Unlimited director of development in Maine. "Denny is a great friend of DU and me, and I am honored that he is my volunteer partner leading the state campaign committee."

An avid outdoorsman, Denny hunts and fishes locally and across the globe. Some of his sporting journeys have taken him to Scotland, Argentina, Norway and Manitoba.

"Going out and visiting DU projects really reinforces why I support the Ducks Unlimited effort in wetlands conservation," he said.