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Getting their ducks in a row

John HartRuth Almassy of Nevada City Picture Framing works on framing a painting donated by artist Brian Steger of Nevada City.
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Duck hunters know how to party.

You can see that yourself Feb. 21 at Grass Valley Ducks Unlimited’s annual fund-raising dinner.



They’ll have all the wine you can drink, “Bud Girls” in evening gowns walking around during dinner holding up guns and other auction items, and raffle prizes including a one-of-a-kind, Browning, Citori over-and-under-shotgun with gold engravings.




“In essence, it will be the only gun like that in the world,” said Bernie Phipps, chairman of Grass Valley Ducks Unlimited. Phipps said the shotgun – a $1600 value – will be engraved with “Grass Valley Ducks Unlimited, 2002. 1 of 1.”

Last year’s dinner attracted 150 people to the Nevada City Elks Lodge and netted $16,000, Phipps said. Money raised here goes to Ducks Unlimited’s national organization for projects around the country.

“Eighty-three percent gets put back into habitat preservation,” Phipps said, and only 17 percent of the donations goes to administrative overhead.

“The majority of the money is used for the prairie pothole region in the upper part of Montana and interior Canada,” he said.

“They also do a considerable amount of work in California,” Phipps said. “Over the last five years, they’ve been instrumental in helping the Gray Lodge Wildlife (Area) with their water distribution and drainage systems there.”

Ducks Unlimited also helped establish the Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area on Interstate 80 between Davis and Sacramento, he said.

This year’s dinner will feature a “sponsor table,” a table with two guns on it. Raffle tickets for the sponsor table guns will cost $300, but the odds should be good, Phipps said, since not everyone will buy a ticket at that price.

Grass Valley Ducks Unlimited’s fund-raising dinner gets donations and help from a variety of individuals and businesses including the following: The Range; Sports & Swap; Nevada City artist Brian Steger, who’s providing an original watercolor to be auctioned off; Grass Valley fishing guide Rick Kennedy who’s offering a couple guided fishing trips; Matt Waldron Electric which is providing power tools; Athena is providing jewelry; Duck hunter Marc Lucena is offering a hunting trip.

Cost is $55 per person or $80 for a couple. Cost for “green wings” (kids 16 and under) is $35. Cocktails are at 6 p.m. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. For more information or to register, call Bernie Phipps at home 432-3825.

Know and Go

What: Ducks Unlimited fund-raising dinner

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 21

Where: Nevada City Elks Lodge, 510 Highway 49


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