Fish and Game Association getting ready to BRAG this weekend

Mrs. Avis Foster  presented Linda Valk with the print she won at the 20th Anniversary Brag Night. The print titled Peace in the Valley by Rod Triberger was part of the Gerald Foster Memorial Fund raffle. All proceeds from ticket sales go directly to the Memorial Fund. In 2011 monies from the fund sent 13 kids to camp and funded a bursary for post-secondary studies.
Mrs. Avis Foster presented Linda Valk with the print she won at the 20th Anniversary Brag Night held in 2012. – Morinville News File Photo

By Morinville News Staff

Morinville – A wild boar is about to be served up and ate up by locals at the Community Cultural Centre. The tusked pig will join elk, moose, venison and wild turkey on the menu of the Morinville Fish and Game Associations’ 21st Annual Brag Night Mar. 16.

The annual fundraiser allows local outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to show off their antlers and enjoy a little wild game. The supper will include dishes made with deer, moose, elk, deep fried turkey and smoked salmon. Another highlight of the annual Brag Night is the live and silent auction. This year the association has lined up close to 200 silent auction items and approximately 25 live auction items.
Association President Len Kondro is excited to start another decade of Brag Night tradition. “This is the biggest fundraiser that we do every year,” Kondro said, adding the association currently has 110 members. “We’re proud to say that our Brag Night is one of the best functions that we have in Morinville on an annual basis. We’re very proud of that event and our attendance is typically 250 to 300 people every year. We have the same people coming back and they love the event. And there’s some good deals on our silent auction.”
Kondro said tickets are selling well and it is looking like they will hit 250 to 275 people for sure.

Funds support multiple initiatives

In addition to operating the clubhouse and deck at the Fish and Game Association pond, the group also acts as stewards of the pond. Each year the club receives 1,000 trout for the pond from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and often ups that with a supply of their own. Additionally, the association installs a goose nest for migrating birds to use, and participates in a spring cleanup of the shoreline of the pond and trail system. The club hosts a children’s fishing day in the summer and another in the winter, giving youth and their families an opportunity to try their hand at shore and ice fishing.

“We enjoy the outdoors so much we want to keep it wild and conserve it,” Kondro said, adding beyond the shores of the manmade pond the Morinville Fish and Game Association provides support for a number of outdoor interests from its fundraiser. “The money goes towards Narrow Lake Conservation Centre, which is an outdoor facility just south of Athabasca. We send upwards of 15 kids to that camp every year.” T
The group also provides funding to Camp He Ho Ha to assist them with their fishing derby for physically challenged youth. In Morinville the association regularly donates to the Morinville Food Bank and Midstream Support Society.

Long history in the community

The history of the MFGA can be traced to 1991 when Bob Bolk and Greg Moffat organized a meeting in the Frontiersman Hotel to bring people together with the same interests. In 1992 the conservation group reclaimed 10 acres north of the Provincial Building for recreational use. The site, once barren except for patches of tall grass and a deep borrow pit used for building the overpass on Highway 2 was transformed into an educational wilderness park. The group began by planting 100 saplings of blue spruce, mayday and Manitoba maple, donated by members of the Alberta Fish and Wildlife. They also transplanted bulrushes and cattails to provide cover for waterfowl.

Besides the clubhouse on the south side corner, the facility includes a path around the lake and through the park. Recently the association, through a Centennial Celebrations Grant, installed some interpretive signage telling visitors what they are likely to see. The park serves as both recreation facility and wildlife reserve, allowing visitors to come and watch nature while strolling or fishing.

Tickets going fast

While the association has done much for the community, the Brag Night and dinner is an annual tradition that is open to the public. Cocktails and silent auction bidding start at 5:30 p.m. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. with the live auction to follow. Tickets are $30 each and available at Hunters Print and Copy and Morinville Shell, both on 100 Avenue. For info contact Karyn Kondro at 780-991-1750.

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