By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (April 17, 2015) — One of Stephenville’s most unique – and successful – annual fundraisers is back.
The 20th annual Upland Bird Extravaganza is the biggest fundraiser each year for the Stephenville Evening Lions Club, and it kicks off at 5 p.m. today – Friday, April 17 – at the City Hall banquet facility at City Limits.
“We raise a ton of money for the youth of Erath County. It’s a very unique event where people get to eat wild game and sample stuff that many of them have never thought of eating before,” said Brandon McDonald of the Evening Lions Club. “When you have fun, you raise more money, so we work each year to make this event as fun as we can.”
Tickets are available at the door for the all-you-can-eat event that also features silent and live auctions raising funds for youth organizations and events in Erath County. There will be 30 live auction items and about 150 silent auction items.
“Last year the live auction raised more than $80,000, so that’s a big deal, and we also have a great lineup of silent auction items. It’s all awesome stuff donated by businesses right here in Erath County,” McDonald said.
The event has raised the bar in terms of funds raised each year and members are looking forward to set another record with the 20th Extravaganza, which means raising more than the estimated $165,000 produced by last year’s event.
“We’ve done a lot of good things because of this the last 20 years, and it’s just getting bigger and bigger,” said McDonald.
Among those “good things” are a $20,000 donation to the Stephenville ISD Education Foundation, $10,000 to support the parking lot at the Stephenville Soccer Complex, and donations to organizations such as Scouts and Dublin Goodfellows. Funds have also been used to renovate one of the SPARD baseball fields, now known as the Evening Lions and Lions Club Field.
“A lot of youth activities are expensive,” he added. “And there are good kids who may just not be able to afford to participate, and we can help pick up the cost.”
All because of a little wild game and a lot of auction items.
And because of the overwhelming generosity of Erath County.
“We want to raise more money than ever before.” McDonald said. “The more we raise, the more good things we can do for our youth.”