Banquet set for tonight

Published 12:12 am Thursday, February 12, 2009

VIDALIA — The Miss-Lou Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is hosting its annual fundraising dinner tonight at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center.

The 17th annual Hunting Heritage Banquet will start at 6 p.m., with an auction to start at 7 p.m.

“We’ll have 17 different guns and 40 auction items,” said Yates McGraw, a member of the Miss-Lou chapter. “The gun of the year, a Winchester Super X3, is the big-ticket item.”

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The event costs $50, and tickets are available at the door. The event cost includes a rib-eye steak dinner and free drinks, as well as membership to the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The NWTF was founded in 1973 as a national nonprofit conservation and education organization dedicated to preserving wild turkey habitats and hunting traditions.

According to the foundation’s Web site, there were 1.3 million wild turkeys in 1973 — now there are more than seven million in North America.

The money raised at the banquet will go directly to the NWTF to fund projects across the country.

“A great portion of that money comes back to the State of Mississippi to do projects,” McGraw said. “About 55 percent of the money we raise, net, comes back to our state to help build habitats, help game wardens, fund St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge — whatever projects are going on here.”

For more information, contact McGraw at 601-442-5593 or go online to