The Second Century Habitat Fund (SCHF) hosted its inaugural Gala on June 3rd, 2023, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness and financial resources for habitat and conservation work across the state. With a turnout of over 500 people, the Gala featured country music artist Coffey Anderson, special guest speakers Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty, Pheasants Forever CEO and President Marilyn Vetter, and South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem.
The event began with Coffey Anderson delivering a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner alongside the South Dakota Army National Guard Honor Guard. During dinner, a film sponsored by Millborn Seeds titled “Planting the Seed” premiered, showcasing the work of the fund. Marilyn Vetter, CEO of Pheasants Forever, presented the fund with a $50,000 check in support of the Winter Storm Initiative.
The Gala also included live and silent auctions, raffles, and other games to raise funds. The highlight of the fundraising efforts was the announcement of a raffle for a brand-new Toyota Tundra and AlumaCraft boat, which had been ongoing since October 2022. In total, over $700,000 was raised for habitat conservation across South Dakota.
“The Gala was an incredible night for the future of habitat and conservation in South Dakota,” said Adam Bender, Chairman of the Board. “From landowners and outdoor-industry leaders to celebrities and elected officials, it was inspiring to see so many people come out and show support for the Second Century Habitat Fund.”.
The success of the Gala would not have been possible without the support of title sponsors Pheasants Forever and Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, as well as numerous donors and partners. The event received support from a variety of businesses, including Millborn Seeds, H-S Precision Rifles, Beretta, Vortex Optics, Ruffland Performance Kennels, Weatherby, Gunderson Jewelers, World Trophy Adventures, The Lodge at Bolton Ranch, Korzan Custom Woodworking, Liberty Safe of SW Minnesota, Toyota dealers of South Dakota, AlumaCraft Boats, POET, Heartland Energy, First Interstate Bank, Scheels, Bad River Ranch, Brett Favre, SITKA, The Walleye Guys LLC, Girthy Girls Guide Service, Silencer Central, Federal Ammunition, Legend Seeds, Roseland Ranch, Sharpe Automotive, First National Bank of Pierre, Final Rise, Lee Kjos Outdoors, Seekins Precision Rifles, St. Croix Rods, and YETI.
Overall, the inaugural Gala of the Second Century Habitat Fund was a resounding success, leaving attendees inspired for the future of conservation in South Dakota and raising significant funds to support habitat initiatives across the state.
About Second Century Habitat Fund, South Dakota
The Second Century Habitat Fund is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation that works to educate landowners on the importance of grassland to improve pheasant habitat in South Dakota. The Fund is governed by a Board of Directors representing landowners, business owners, pheasant preserve operators, and community leaders across South Dakota.