TERRE HAUTE —
A club dedicated to preserving wild turkeys is donating the frozen kind to needy people in the Wabash Valley for Thanksgiving.
The Sycamore Ridge Strutters, a chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, a national organization to preserve the wild turkey and the tradition of hunting, have raised funds to donate about 150 turkeys to the Light House Mission.
“We were very aware of the need at the Light House Mission” this year, said Stacy Kueber, president of the Sycamore Ridge Strutters. “We’re out to do the best good with what we have.”
For the past 100 years, the mission, located at 1450 Wabash Ave., has provided Thanksgiving baskets to needy families. This year, because of financial challenges, that tradition was in jeopardy.
Now, however, thanks to extra efforts from Terre Haute Ministries and organizations such as the Sycamore Ridge Strutters, it looks like Thanksgiving baskets will be reaching at least 1,100 families through the Light House Mission again this year.
“It’s a great way of knowing what you’re doing is going to the folks who need it,” Kueber said of donating the birds to the Light House Mission. Although the club’s members hunt turkeys, those being donated were purchased at a generous discount through Walmart, he noted.
Other businesses helping in the effort have included Gander Mountain, Terre Haute Chevrolet, J. Gumbo, Central Indiana Asphalt, Roly Poly, Simms Painting Co., Koch Farms and Rick’s Smoke House, Kueber said.
The Sycamore Ridge Strutters have provided dozens of turkeys each of the past several years to needy people in the area. Last year the organization provided 100 turkeys. This year the total will be closer to 150, Kueber said.
In addition to the Sycamore Ridge Strutters, Terre Haute Ministries has worked hard to raise money to fill the mission’s baskets. A radiothon on Nov. 1 raised about $8,000. Since then, donations directly to the mission and through First Financial Bank have added another $11,000 or so, said Honnalora Hubbard, executive director of Terre Haute Ministries.
“We just knew we had to try,” Hubbard said of the effort to help the Light House Mission. “The community wants to give. They just need to be given the information and the opportunity.”
In addition to its 100-year basket campaign, the Light House Mission provides Thanksgiving dinners to up to 500 people on Thanksgiving day. Year round, the mission provides food and shelter for homeless people at two locations in Terre Haute.
The National Wild Turkey Federation is a not-for-profit wildlife conservation group based in Edgefield, S.C. The group, which has helped conserve millions of acres of wildlife habitat, has chapters in all 50 states and Canada, according to its website, www.nwtf.org.
Through partnerships with state and federal wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $372 million to conserve 17 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.
Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or firstname.lastname@example.org