The New York & New England region chapters came together in the final weeks of 2021 to close out the year with another outstanding RMEF banquet! Volunteers, donors, and multi-event attendees from across the Northeast rallied together to assemble one of the year’s best lineups of outstanding live and silent auction items, as well as some of the year’s best drawings, to raise $23,000 in net revenue for the mission!
While others may have been shopping online, racing to buy holiday gifts in their respective regions, or out finding the right Christmas tree, our volunteers and donors were working overtime to secure donations, spread holiday cheer, and make a difference in Elk Country!
The New York & New England Holiday Banquet has been an RMEF family tradition in the New England region for years as members looked for one last chance to get together before the holidays. What started as eight to 10 people from around the region getting together for dinner, a couple drawings, and some holiday fun quickly outgrew any impromptu restaurant booking. Within two to three years, folks from across the region began to call asking when the group was getting together.
The banquet’s live and silent auctions gave supporters the first opportunity in the country to take home items from our 2022 banquet program, as well as secure new and custom merchandise from some of our region’s finest craftspersons. It also featured some of 2021’s best performing merchandise including Quigley Ford scopes, Larry Bird autographed basketballs, Winchester and Browning firearms, original feather art, Amish furniture, offshore fishing trips, hunts and the infamous “Mystery Cooler” full of some of the finest cuts of elk, moose, and bison that were so generously donated.
The banquet drawings were also some of the year’s finest and featured the Two Cooler Drawing (packed with fresh lobster, clams, and the finest steaks available), Holiday Winner’s Choice (Weatherby Mark V or $1000 CASH), Browning + Progressive, 21-Coin Drawing (sold out 3 times!) and the last Progressive drawing in the nation to name just a few! There were plenty of reasons to spend that excess stimulus money and odds that made it tough not to.
Much like the first event of 2021, COVID quarantines, employer mandates against participation, and other health concerns took its toll on who was able to attend. However, for every person that had to cancel, another stepped up to replace them. In the end, close to 80 people representing 80% of the chapters in the region attended the year’s final event. Funds flowed in through drawing tickets sales and donations from every chapter in New York and New England. “Right down to the doors opening, my phone never stopped ringing!” exclaimed the region’s RD, Tim Foster. “This event speaks volumes about the RMEF family we know and love. This proves that our members are truly unstoppable!”