Local conservation group provides turkeys to SERVE

Stephanie Backus/FULTON SUN photo
Don Masek, Julie Roark, John Burk and Logan Burk hold turkeys donated to SERVE by the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. The organization donated a dozen turkeys to SERVE on Wednesday.

Stephanie Backus/FULTON SUN photo Don Masek, Julie Roark, John Burk and Logan Burk hold turkeys donated to SERVE by the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. The organization donated a dozen turkeys to SERVE on Wednesday.

What else would the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation choose to donate to SERVE but turkeys?

John Burk, member of the local chapter, and Pete Ripley, chapter president, decided to use some of the group’s funds to purchase and donate a dozen turkeys to SERVE on Wednesday.

“A lot of people think of us as just a bunch of turkey hunters,” said Burk, who is also regional biologist for the NWTF, “with programs and projects like this, we show that we’re about more than just hunting.”

The Callaway County chapter, which calls itself the Kingdom of Callaway Limbhangers, holds an annual banquet at St. Peter Catholic Church to raise money for the chapter, whose 75 or so members live throughout the county. The fundraiser sponsors the chapter’s events and programs all year, and Burk said it was decided to give back some of the money to those in need.

“It’s gonna work out fantastic,” Lisa Brown, executive director at SERVE, said about the turkey donations.

She said she enjoys the holidays at SERVE because not only does she get to see those who choose to donate to the organization’s cause, but she is able to see the impact it makes on the families who benefit from the donations. Brown said the workers at SERVE have seen many donations coming in from individuals, organizations and businesses this year for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“Everybody’s getting into the holiday spirit,” she said. “It really feels like this year has been different. We have seen such an outpouring of community spirit.”

Brown said locals realize what a “fragile” state the economy is in, and those who have enough to go around are “expressing their thankfulness” by giving to those who have fallen on hard times.

“I think there’s just a recognition from the community that things are really hard right now.”

SERVE is a non-profit organization in Fulton that offers services such as a food pantry to those in need. This is the second year the Limbhangers have donated turkeys to SERVE. The local chapter holds events throughout the year such as hosting a youth hunter safety day. The NWTF states that its mission is to work for the conservation and proper harvesting of wild turkeys.

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