SHELBYVILLE, Ill. – The Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance (LSFHA) continues to provide an evolving blueprint for bass clubs and other angling groups across the nation to improve their home fisheries.
The alliance's latest achievement was a Feb. 23 fundraising dinner banquet to raise funds for habitat improvements on Illinois' 11,000-acre Lake Shelbyville. And organizers were thrilled with the results, as 290 attended and more than $20,000 was raised via admission tickets, raffles and auctions of kayaks, artwork, fishing tackle and equipment, among other items.
Terry Brown of the popular Wired2Fish website and Illinois fisheries chief Mike McClelland were guest speakers, while Richard Glazebrook, retired site superintendent for Eagle and Wolf Creek state parks, served as master of ceremonies.
"We had no clue how well it would be received," said Kevin Robertson, a member of both LSFHA and B.A.S.S. "We modeled it after banquets held by Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation, with the hope that the formula would work."
And it certainly did, he added, because of enthusiastic support from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Army Corps of Engineers, local communities and volunteers. Robertson also credited Martin "Chip" Christensen of Chip's Marina with being catalyst for the banquet, just as he was with formation of the alliance.
"The re-occurring theme of the night was that 100 percent of the proceeds are going directly to fish habitat at Lake Shelbyville," the LSFHA said in a press release. "The excitement of that reality was evident in the generosity, not only of the donors who provided prizes for the banquet, but also in the overwhelming support of the attendees."