The Madison County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) members and guests were served a delicious seafood buffet meal Saturday evening, Feb. 27, during its annual meeting/banquet. The banquet was held at the Madison County Central School cafeteria.
The doors opened at 5 p.m. for all those who wanted to come early and browse through the many items on the silent auction table. The raffle booths were also open to the attendees ready to buy a chance on one of the many guns that were being given away during the night. Live auction items were also out on display for early viewing.
Before dinner began, all attending veterans were asked to go to the front of the room and were given a standing ovation. George E. Smith, Jr. was recognized as being the oldest attending veteran.
It was then announced that this year’s banquet was in honor of Jay Johnson, who spent his life trying to make Madison County bigger and better than it is. Memoirs of Jay were read and a plaque was presented to his parents, Kin and Jackie Johnson.
After the dinner blessing and the Pledge of Allegiance, dinner was served. The seafood buffet meal was enjoyed by the several hundred attendees who partook in fried fish, fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, scallops, crab cakes, hushpuppies, grits, potato salad, cole slaw, french fries and drinks.
Following supper all children (Jakes) were given a free box turkey call.
The live auction, headed up by Ron Smoke, was a big highlight of the evening. Items ranging from framed prints, gun cabinets, homemade turkey calls and ice coolers were auctioned off during the evening.
Periodically, throughout the evening, the winners of the raffles were called out and the lucky winners were presented with their winning guns. A total of 18 guns were given away.
The Madison County Board of Directors include: President – Wally Davis; Banquet Chairman – Shannon Webb; and Secretary and Treasurer – Don Ashley. There are also 27 committee members who finish making up the Madison County NWTF.
“If it wasn’t for the volunteers, we couldn’t make it. The National Wild Turkey Federation is the future of our youth,” stated Wally Davis. He went on to add that each county group (such as Madison’s) is made up of four departments: Regular members, Women and Outdoors; Wheelin’ Sportsmen and JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship). He also stated the NWTF is the largest Conservation group in the United States. There are over 600,000 members nationwide.
The money that was raised during the Madison County NWTF Banquet that evening stays in Madison County or goes to the State of Florida Chapter
For more information on the Madison County National Wild Turkey Federation, readers may call Wally Davis at (850) 673-6630 or log on to http://www.nwtf.org.
This year’s 2016 annual Madison County NWTF Banquet was dedicated in memory of Jay Johnson. Jay’s parents were present during the banquet to accept a plaque in their son’s honor. Pictured, from left to right, are: Rick Davis, Jackie Johnson, Kin Johnson and Don Ashley.