When you think of the Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend, most likely ATVs, deer blinds, bows, arrows and whitetails come to mind. Maybe it’s our Puppy Tent, where hundreds of puppies are sold and the vision of a child holding a chocolate lab close to their face begging to take it home. Or pole barns packed with outdoor merchandise and showgoers doing what we call the “Woods-N-Water shuffle.”

It’s a festive mood, people eating venison burgers, smoked turkey legs, and tasting the winning Camp Chili Cook-off recipe.
What you may not think of is the amount of money generated for many worthy causes. Thousands of dollars are made through raffles and other fundraisers that in turn end up in the hands of Michigan’s needy.

And you may not think of the conservative-minded organizations that rely on the show to distribute educational literature, such as the Ruffed Grouse Society, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Quality Deer Management, Safari Club International, Michigan Pheasant Initiative, Michigan Hunting Dog Federation and so many others.

All worthy causes, Woods-N-Water News is happy to play a part in helping get the word out on these fine organizations.

There is also a score of non-profit clubs who also benefit from the Outdoor Weekend; Imlay City Lions, Imlay City Rotary Club, Emmett Lions Club, Lapeer Elks, Lapeer County Sportsmen Club, Lapeer County 4-H, American Legion and several others. Most conduct raffles with the proceeds going to various outdoor related projects.

The people who come to the Outdoor Weekend are very giving and caring people. Sportsmen are one of the most generous groups you could ever hope to work with. All we had to do was mention a worthy cause and they will pull out their wallets and give freely.

Recognizing the good that could be done for our youth in the outdoors and the many worthwhile organization that already exist, we started the Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Foundation.

A few years back, with the help of our friends at Arctic Cat, we were able to auction off a brand new 4 x 4 ATV. We matched the funds generated by the auction to start the Outdoor Foundation. Since then, we have awarded our foundation grants to numerous organizations who promote and preserve the outdoor traditions of Michigan. Of course, those organizations who cater to the youth and outdoor education programs are always foremost in our minds.

Over the years we awarded several grants from our foundation to improve river habitat, purchase rods and reels, provide funds to help support a fly fishing retreat for men with cancer, build handicap accessible docks, Make-a-Wish Foundation, help put roofs on sportsmen clubs and purchase bows and arrows for church camps, just to name a few.

All of us here at Woods-N-Water News are thrilled to be able to contribute to these fine organizations and we encourage our readers to get involved any way they can. One way is to contribute to the Outdoor Foundation. We promise we will use the contributions wisely and for the benefit of this state’s great hunting and fishing tradition.

Visit our web site at www. woods-n-waternews.com for more information about Woods-N-Water News and our Outdoor Foundation.

Or talk with Tom Campbell or myself at the 36th Annual Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend held at the Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds in Imlay City, September 9-11. Help us, help others preserve our outdoor heritage.

Also make sure you take the time to enjoy our Outdoor Weekend with all the same great free entertainment, free seminars, and hundreds of exhibitors, selling everything from boats to bows.

The Outdoor Weekend is a success for a lot of reasons, but perhaps the biggest reason of all is the fine people we work with and the sportsmen who come to our show.

So many will benefit from the efforts of so few and we are proud we can be part of it all.

Thanks again and mark your calendars for September 9-11 and see us at the Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds.

Remember the gates open at 3 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

See you at this year’s Outdoor Weekend. And its not too early to spread the word, visit outdoorweekend.net. n