Georgia SCI Gives Wildlife Conservation A Boost

Annual fundraiser brings out the best in SCI members and the hunting and fishing community.

Press Release | May 13, 2024

Safari Club International members at the April 27, 2024 banquet raised $15,000 for Truth In Nature, a nonprofit that takes boys from single-family homes out hunting and fishing. From left, Georgia Chapter of SCI Treasurer and Banquet Chairman Marc Stewart, Jeff Davis of Truth in Nature, Jay Wallace of Adventure Outdoors, and Carrie Davis (back row) of Truth In Nature, Georgia Chapter President Lester Richardson, Eric Wallace of Adventure Outdoors, and son, Hoyt.

More than 250 sportsmen and women from across the Southeast gathered at Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna on April 27 for the 2024 Sportsman’s Banquet and Auction hosted by the Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI).

“It’s amazing to see like-minded people come out and enjoy an evening of camaraderie and fellowship,” said SCI Georgia President Lester Richardson. “We talk about past hunts and make plans for future adventures. All the while, we help our chapter and all the good work it is doing for local hunters and hunting.”

Richardson said Georgia SCI was proud to again recognize outstanding individuals from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources during the organization’s annual event.

The Investigative Game Warden of the Year award was presented to Corporal Eric White. Theron Menken was named the Biologist of the Year. Ryan Merkel, who could not be present, was named the Wildlife Technician of the Year. Deputy Commissioner Thomas Barnard accepted the award for Merkel.

The Georgia Falconry Association displayed Harris hawks at the banquet event and donated a one-day falconry hunt to be auctioned off to benefit SCI’s work. More than 30 organizations, companies and outfitters donated auction items— from a red stag hunt in Argentina to a leopard hunt in Zimbabwe, plus rifles, shotguns an other gear.

Tens of thousands of dollars raised during the annual Sportsman’s Banquet and Auction will help fund the Georgia Chapter’s full slate of educational programs, such as the Chapter’s Introduction to Hunting Firearms event, youth deer hunts, First-Timer Mentored Deer Hunt, support for DNR and wildlife research, as well as a three-day-long Wounded Veterans’ Fishing Weekend and veterans’ deer and pheasant hunts.

“Thank you to all who joined us at Adventure Outdoors and our online bidders,” said Marc Stewart, Georgia Chapter of SCI Treasurer and Banquet Chairman. Everyone was extremely generous supporting our work for veterans, new hunters and wildlife conservation in Georgia.”

At the banquet, Stewart told members about a special nonprofit called Truth In Nature. Its mission is to spread Christ’s love through mentored time in the outdoors to boys of single-parent homes.

Stewart’s impassioned appeal ended with a big donation from the members present, viewing online and with help from longtime SCI supporter Larry Shores to get it to an even $15,000.

A special thanks went out to the sponsors of the evening: Larry Shores; Edward Jones, Michael Housworth; Corrosion Control; Jimmie Powell; Global Aviation Helicopter LLC; Broomsedge Rod & Gun Club; Adventure Outdoors; CVA; Arrowhead Land Company; Benelli; Franchi; Bergara; Coppersmith Global Logistics; David & Sons Plumbing; Taylor Concrete Foundations, and The Striper Experience.

Cal Hardie (second from right) of Arrowhead Land Company and friends enjoy a night of camaraderie and helped raise money to defend hunters’ rights and promote wildlife conservation.

The Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to promoting and protecting our hunting heritage through education, conservation, and humanitarian efforts. Founded in 1981, the Georgia Chapter is one of the oldest SCI chapters in the world. Visit for more information or to join us.

If you and your church, civic, service or veterans’ group would like to partner with the Georgia Chapter of SCI for a hunting or firearms safety event, or to have us speak to your organization, please reach out to us at

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