Photo by Whitnet Hake // Merrick County Pheasants Forever held its first annual Banquet in Palmer, Nebraska, a village of 524, with an audience of 300 guests.
A brand-new Pheasants Forever chapter, led by Chapter President Dylan Wieser, was in the spotlight
By Aaron Williams, Regional Representative for PF & QF in Eastern Nebraska
The village of Palmer in Merrick County, Nebraska is just a stone’s throw off state Highway 92, and for one night this spring, it was the place to be. A brand-new Pheasants Forever chapter, led by Chapter President Dylan Wieser, was in the spotlight, and the chapter didn’t disappoint.
The Merrick County chapter, comprised of a dozen friends who had been visiting chapter events in other parts of the state, got together and decided they could have the same impact in their own community. Their goal, like most Pheasants Forever chapters, is to have positive impacts on local habitat and create opportunities for new hunters to learn. First things first, however: They needed to raise some local members and funds to make this goal happen.
With hours and hours spent planning the night, this chapter began to make their phone calls to businesses and friends who may be interested. Something became very clear that night: The village of 524 people was more than primed to fully support this chapter’s mission. Twenty-five sponsor tables later, this brand-new chapter was able to cram nearly 300 people into the town’s small gym.
Memberships for the new chapter poured in, and the excitement couldn’t be stopped. The games, the meal and the camaraderie of a local Pheasants Forever event was just what this village needed. Multiple community members let the chapter know how excited they were to see Pheasants Forever alive in Merrick County.
Walking out of the gym on that night, I could not have been prouder to be just a small part in this brand-new chapter’s successful night. It also reminded me of why the Pheasants Forever model is so important. Locally raised funds funding local habitat projects truly takes the entire village.
Aaron Williams is a Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Regional Representative in Eastern Nebraska
This story originally appeared in the 2022 Summer Issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal. If you enjoyed it and would like to be the first to read more great upland content like this, become a member today!