Pheasants Forever banquet draws large crowd

Mark Sochocki (left) and WIllie Holmes get ready to auction off various items
Mark Sochocki (left) and WIllie Holmes get ready to auction off various items

BIG RAPIDS — The Mecosta/Osceola Chapter of Pheasants Forever last month had its 24th Annual Banquet at the Eagles Club.

“It was a resounding success,” chapter president Mark Sochocki, of Evart, said. “Approximately 300 folks attended the banquet this year, including 50 youth. The big prize of the evening, along with another 40 quality rifles and shotguns, was a Browning Cynergy limited edition 12 gauge shotgun with a retail value of over $2,000.

“The chapter also held a special raffle at the banquet to support a local high school skeet shooting team.

“Our chapter continues to grow and folks support the banquet fundraising activities because they know that every dollar raised locally stays with our chapter, which is unlike any other national conservation organization which is required to send all funds raised back to their parent organization.

“This unique model allowed our chapter to help local landowners improve over 1,000 acres of habitat and food plots in 2017, including planting of over 100 acres of pollinator habitat to help increase populations of the Monarch butterfly through a partnership with TransCanada and Save our Monarchs.”

It also was announced at the banquet the development and availability, through the chapter, of new food plot mixes designed for whitetail deer food plots.

“These new mixes include a whitetail clover mix, whitetail forage mix and a whitetail brassica mix,” Sochocki said. “These mixes, along with Roundup ready corn and soybean seed are available through the chapter by contacting the PF office at 796-1844.

“The chapter would like to thank those who support the chapter’s activities including all of the volunteers, members and local business and individuals who donate to our conservation efforts.

“I think everyone really appreciates the fact that 100 percent of the funds raised locally stays local and they can see the impact that we are having on the landscape in Mecosta and Osceola counties.”