Elk NetworkVolunteers at Sportsmen’s Shows

Volunteer Newsletter | March 25, 2024

Sportsmen’s shows are one of the many ways that people first discover RMEF. Here is a look at how volunteers are helping it happen.

RMEF volunteers play a vital role in fundraising and recruiting for RMEF, and one way they help spread the word is by volunteering at sportsmen’s shows. This February was a busy month, with sportsmen shows happening across the country. Volunteers helped plan, set-up, tear-down, sell merchandise and raffle tickets, renew memberships, recruit new members and volunteers, and educate attendees on the mission of RMEF.

The Great American Outdoor Show took place on Feb. 3-11 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  “The show went great,” says Kris Lofstrom, RMEF’s Eastern Region director of field operations. The show was new and improved this year, with a new location, a new RMEF booth and even new RMEF merchandise! And thanks to RMEF volunteers, it all ran smoothly.

“It was great to see so many volunteers from many different chapters from across the state pitching in and giving their time to help sell memberships, our new raffle items and even RMEF merchandise,” says Lofstrom. “I can’t thank the East Region team and HQ staff enough for their hard work in coordinating everything to make it such a successful year.”

The following week volunteers gathered to pitch a helping hand at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show in Portland, Oregon, and it was just as successful! More than 40 RMEF Rose City Chapter volunteers turned out to help spread the word and shed light on conservation. “The booth was humming all five days and the atmosphere was so enjoyable,” says Cory Toombs, RMEF Northern Oregon regional director. The highlight of the event was a movie night sponsored by Leupold and hosted by Randy Newberg and Fred Eichler. Leupold staff and RMEF volunteers worked hard to make it happen. Each movie ticket purchased came with two raffle tickets, and all raffle proceeds went directly to RMEF. The result? An amazing night and a grand total of $22,558 to continue conservation efforts, not only in Oregon, but across the country. “The turnout was humbling and exciting to witness,” says Toombs.

During that same week the Salt Lake City Western Hunting and Conservation Expo featured over 500 vendors and drew in some 55,000 attendees, and RMEF was stationed right in the center of it all. Local RMEF volunteers and father-son duo Kurt and Chance Shepherd manned the booth alongside Utah Regional Director Ron Camp.

Kurt has been volunteering with RMEF for a whopping 33 years and Chance was born right into it, “I had no choice,” he laughs. Kurt and Chance sacrificed vacation days to work in the booth all weekend, and this was their seventh year doing so.

“These shows could not happen without the volunteers helping not only in the show booth but also assisting in the set-up and tear-down of the booth,” says Camp, “and not only are we selling and renewing memberships, but we are sharing the mission of RMEF!”