In 2019, Montana chapter chairs set an aggressive goal to accumulatively generate $2 million dollars for the RMEF mission, something that they had never been able to accomplish. Multiple chapters were holding record setting banquets and more events to meet this goal. Unfortunately, their efforts fell just shy of the $2 million mark, but they were still able to raise more dollars for elk country than they had ever raised before. After missing their goal by such a slim margin, the chapters reaffirmed their focus in December of 2019 and planned what needed to be done in 2020 to reach the lofty mark.
Montana started fundraising at a record pace early on in 2020, but after events were postponed and eventually canceled due to COVID, it was clear that the $2 million goal would have to wait. Montana volunteers still did everything they could to generate critical funds in 2020 and were able to raise funds needed to still put money into elk country conservation projects.
2021 saw a delayed start, with winter and spring banquet season pushed to late spring and summer. With the change in schedule and personal circumstances, some chapters saw a decrease in committee volunteer participation. Early events indicated that if a chapter could hold their banquet, attendance and dollars raised could be at an all-time high. RMEF volunteers recognized the opportunity and encouraged other chapters to push forward. To ensure an event was successful, RMEF volunteers traveled to each other’s banquets and helped work those events and see them through.
“What our volunteers accomplished in 2021, in such a challenging year, speaks to the dedication and determination that this group of volunteers has,” says western Montana Regional Director Jared Wold. “I am humbled to work hand in hand with such a passionate group of individuals.” When help was needed, Team Montana was there. Their efforts were well worth it and the State as a whole, is projected to net a record setting $2.1 million by the end of 2021. “We cannot thank them enough for all of their efforts,” says Matt Ashley, eastern Montana Regional Director. “It’s because of their commitment to the mission that they continue to make such a significant impact for elk country conservation.”