“It is a great accomplishment to be viewed in our community as ‘duck people’ and affiliated with such a great organization,” says Jennifer Churchill-Bartlett.
Known by friends as the “head quacker”, Churchill-Bartlett and her husband, Brent Bartlett, are DUC’s Volunteer of the Year nominees from Deer Lake, N.L.
The pair first discovered the organization in 2001 at a DUC live auction, held at the Humber Valley Agricultural Fair. “We loved the merchandise and began speaking to [volunteers] about what they were doing there, and learned about Ducks Unlimited,” recalls Churchill-Bartlett.
The couple left the auction inspired to introduce the organization into their own community.
In 2003, a committee was struck and the first DUC fundraising dinner was held in Deer Lake.
Over the years, the couple have taken on nearly every duty associated with organizing the fundraiser. From chairing the event committee, to selling tickets, to organizing merchandise, to securing donations; the pair have done it all. “We have a great sense of accomplishment and are very proud that we can host this event for Ducks Unlimited,” says Churchill-Bartlett.
And their efforts have paid off. The signature dinner receives overwhelming support from the community, says Churchill-Bartlett. “It is great when people tell you what a great time they had, and that they will definitely be back next year,” says the nominee, and former chair of DUC’s Provincial Council in NL.
Aside from providing an entertaining evening out, the head quacker notes that the event highlights the importance of wetlands.
“We hope that through the dinners we are providing an education to people on the purpose of Ducks Unlimited, and how each of us can contribute to conservation for the greater good, today and tomorrow,” she adds. “We may not all be hunters, but we all require healthy drinking water to be able to survive,” she says.
Looking to the future, the Bartlett’s hope to focus their volunteer efforts on growing the annual dinner, generating more revenue for conservation, and seeing a DUC project come to life in their community.
When asked how they would feel to be named the DUC National Volunteers of the Year, the pair say: “This is a great opportunity for us as a couple to do something worthwhile for our community, our province, and for our country.
“If we can make even a small difference to look at sustaining and preserving our wetlands, then we have accomplished our goal.”
Vote Jennifer and Brent for DUC’s national Volunteer of the Year to celebrate their efforts and show some provincial pride! You can vote once a day until voting closes Friday, April 1, 2016.