Draw down, silent auction add excitement to huntPublished 9:49pm Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Morgan Academy’s annual deer hunt fundraiser came to a close Sunday, but not before the much-anticipated Big Red Ticket Draw Down and silent auction on Saturday.
“We call it the deer hunt, and the Big Red Ticket and silent auction are just one of the aspects of it,” Ira Wagoner, chairman of Morgan Academy’s board of directors said Saturday night. “They used to be separate, but now they all come together on the same weekend.”
“This is a fundraiser for Morgan Academy, but it’s also a time of camaraderie with the family. It’s for the Morgan family. The deer hunters eat here and are fed here, and the families buy Big Red Tickets for the $10,000 draw down, and your ticket entitles you to the fish dinner,” Morgan Academy Principal Martha McKnight said. “It’s a fundraiser for Morgan, and it’s a time of fun and fellowship — it’s great.”
Each family at Morgan sold a $100 ticket for the Big Red Ticket Draw Down to raise money for the school and for a chance to win a $10,000 prize.
“Every family sells a ticket, and I think a lot of them choose to buy it, but I know there are some people here who are not Morgan families who have bought tickets and come,” McKnight said.
Saturday people of all ages filled Morgan Academy’s old gymnasium, and families and hunters held onto their Big Red Ticket as two of the school’s coaches took turns reading out the tickets pulled from the box, hoping their number would be the last one called.
“The last card in the box to be pulled wins the $10,000 prize,” Wagoner said. “The first ticket pulled wins $100 and every 50th ticket wins $100. We’ll have an audit process to make sure it’s done fairly.”
Between the deer hunt, silent auction and Big Red Ticket, the fundraiser helped the school to raise well over the $10,000 prize, Wagoner said, with the main fundraiser being the deer hunt.
“We have land owners who were nice enough to allow their land to be used at no cost to the school, and they go out with the hunter and put them in the right spots for the hunt,” Wagoner sad. “What you see here tonight is the culmination. These [hunters] have traveled here this weekend to hunt deer, because they don’t have the opportunity, and we’re lucky in Alabama that we’re infested with deer. Where these people are from, the seasons when they can legally hunt are short and these people love hunting.
“They come down here for two and a half days, and they pay for the privilege [of hunting]. Because where they’re from, a lot of people here are from Michigan, but they come from all the states. Most of these hunters are not from Alabama.”
The annual dear hunt is something that Morgan has been doing since the 1970s Wagoner said, and a fundraiser they plan to continue.