Mark and Paulette Schlegel are a unique pair. The Schlegels both serve on their local Ducks Unlimited committee in Kingman, Kansas, and are DU diamond life sponsors. They have even signed their British Lab, Brick, up for a life sponsorship.

"We wanted to help Kansas meet its major donor goals, and Director of Development Kirk Davidson advised that we could designate a life sponsorship to whomever we wanted. We thought Brick would make a great DU life sponsor," said Mark.

Mark has served in many capacities for DU, including area chair, district chair and state chair. He is also on the national membership committee and previously served on the national firearms committee.

"Mark is as involved as a person can be with Ducks Unlimited and he and Paulette are in it for the right reasons," said Josh Williams, DU regional director in Kansas.

As state chair for Kansas, Mark initiated the DU state license plate program where residents can show their support for DU when they register their vehicles. The income from this program grows every year, and is expected to reach or exceed $50,000 this year. Mark also led the gun raffle calendar program in Kansas that generates more than $100,000 every year.

"What impresses me about DU is they conserve habitats across borders, and working internationally is what is best for the ducks," said Mark. "Paulette and I know that we need to give beyond our back yard to leave this place better than we found it."

Mark is an engineering test pilot and confesses to finding great duck hunting spots while flight testing new airplane models.

"Flying gives you a view of the world you cant get anywhere else," he said.