October 22, 2012 (Washington, DC) – The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and NASCAR legend and CSF Board of Directors member Richard Childress celebrated the 8th Annual “Wine, Wheels & Wildlife” event on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, North Carolina. The event served as an opportunity to bring the racing and hunting and fishing communities together to underscore the importance for sportsmen and women to have a voice in the halls of government.
Celebrating “Wine, Wheels & Wildlife,” were over 300 hunting and fishing enthusiasts, representatives from NASCAR, state and federal legislators, natural resource management agencies and outdoor industry organizations from across the country. In support of CSF, attendees got the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities, a raffle and live auction and to enjoy entertainment provided by avid sportsman and comedian Jeff Foxworthy.
CSF President Jeff Crane opened the event and gave a special thank you to host Richard Childress. Crane recognized Childress’ support and work as a member of CSF’s board of directors. “A lot of people recognize Richard for what he has done in the world of racing, but he is also a dedicated outdoorsman and a tremendous conservationist who has been a fantastic member of CSF’s board of directors.”
Childress, who has hosted “Wine, Wheels & Wildlife” with CSF since its inauguration in 2004, talked about the success the event has seen over the last eight years. “I look back and think about the first ‘Wine, Wheels & Wildlife’ eight years ago and note that tonight we have over 300 people in attendance, and I want to thank all of you who are here to support CSF.”
CSF’s Chairman of the Board, former Georgia Congressman Lindsay Thomas addressed the crowd about the importance of CSF’s mission and protecting and promoting the traditions of hunters and anglers in America. “It is important that the outdoor industry has their voice at the table. There are those who are opposed to the rights of hunters and fisherman and our pursuit to conserve wildlife in this country. It is important to support organizations, like CSF, that protect our outdoor traditions to secure the future of hunting and fishing in America,” Thomas stated.
Also in attendance were Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Vice-Chair, Representative Heath Shuler and CSC Representative Jeff Duncan. Representative Shuler spoke to the crowd about his tenure as CSC Vice-Chair and the caucuses’ bipartisan nature. “When you talk about the outdoors and conservation, political boundaries are truly dropped. If it wasn’t for the relationship forged between CSF and folks here tonight, we wouldn’t have the ability to reach across the political aisle.”
Representative Shuler introduced his colleague in the House of Representatives and Representative Duncan spoke about his membership in both the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC). “I was a member of NASC for a number of years and I understand the importance in championing legislation for access to public lands and our rights to hunt and fish. CSC and NASC have been crucial as our allies in protecting the outdoors,” Duncan stated.
The event was provided by Richard Childress Racing and Childress Vineyards. The title sponsors included ATK, Caterpillar, Daimler and Safari Club International. The outdoor activity sponsor was Bass Pro Shops and the evening’s dinner was sponsored by the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and Dallas Safari Club. The bar was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, Black Lab Vodka, Childress Vineyards and Diageo. The live auction sponsor was Remington and the raffle was sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Shimano.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?