From the well-deserved awards to the auction led by the very entertaining Roger Lambert, the 39th Anniversary banquet of the Maine Professional Guides Association was, as usual, a great event. Of course, I most enjoyed the chance to visit with many old friends. The banquet hall at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer was jammed with guides from all over the state, plus lots of others including a few legislators and leaders of DIFW.
An award went to Jeff Resse for outstanding service, and the Legendary Maine Guide award was presented to Lance Wheaton. Lance has also served for years on DIFW’s Advisory Council. I enjoyed a day of fishing with Lance once and can verify he’s an awesome guide. Yup, I caught lots of fish.
I was surprised when MPGA President Jeff Belmore called me up to the stage and presented me with a very generous donation of $1000 to the Kennebec Land Trust for my woodlot project. Linda and I are donating our Mount Vernon woodlot to the Kennebec Land Trust, which does a great job of teaching kids about conservation. Our woodlot will focus on kids, including signs along the trails telling kids about the wildlife habitat they are seeing. I’ve also written a booklet of stories about my encounters with wildlife on the woodlot. Kids will get the booklet for free.
I got a chance to speak after that presentation, and in addition to telling some stories, I also let them know how fortunate they are that Don Kleiner serves as their Executive Director and Lobbyist. Don is very well respected at the legislature, where he is often called upon to share his thoughts on issues. I told the crowd that Don’s comments are also brief and to the point, while I am well known for rambling on and on.
The MPGA has a very good website, which you should checkout (www.maineguides.org). And I was impressed with their new MPGA Membership Directory designed to enhance members’ businesses.
Bob Duchesne, a legislator and our top birding guide, was the keynote speaker, a great choice. Bob’s talk ranged from funny stories to key issues.
Table Sponsors for the banquet were American Forest Management, Seven Islands Land Company, and Wagner Forest Management.
Corporate Sponsors were Cheney Insurance Agency, LL Bean, North Maine Woods, Old Town Canoe and Kayak, United Insurance, and Windham Weaponry.