For the birds

Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited guests circle the silent auction and raffle tables at the Harbor View Hotel. Photos by Ralph Stewart

By Eleni Collins - October 25, 2007

The Martha's Vineyard Chapter of Ducks Unlimited (DU) held its annual benefit dinner, auction, and raffle at the Harbor View Hotel Saturday night. The world's largest conservation group for waterfowl and wetlands, DU has restored and currently protects over 12 million acres nationwide.

Usually held in the spring, the event was held earlier this year because the Harbor View will be closed for renovations.

"It was successful, but there was a lot going on that night so there was a lot of competition," said chairman Cliff Meehan. "Had it been in the spring it would have been a little better, because that time of year everybody's used to it. But we did alright."

Richard Mello Jr., Cliff Meehan, and Phil Warren
(From left): Auctioneer Richard Mello Jr., chairman Cliff Meehan, and Senior Regional Director Phil Warren give away prizes.

Because the Island is the region's most lucrative group, Senior Regional Director Phil Warren came from New Hampshire to attend the event.

Currently there are 30 regular members and 25 sponsor members on the Island. Because of their greater monetary contribution, sponsor members are eligible for special auction items such as high quality hunting guns.

Many door prizes were given away, in addition to the 28 live auction and many other silent auction items. Attendees had the chance to bid on paintings, duck decoys, luggage, and sculptures, among other items.

Keeping with tradition, the M.V. Chapter of DU raised a sizable amount of funds to add to the Massachusetts tally, over $81 million through the years.