Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame breaks records, Foundation sets sights on Northwest Arkansas

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark (News release) — More than 1,700 supporters of conservation in Arkansas gathered at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock, Saturday, Aug. 24, for the 28th annual Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet. 

Each year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation honors a select few individuals who have made notable impacts in Arkansas’s outdoors. This year’s inductees included MaryAnn King of London, Catherine and Tommy Murchison III of Cabot, Woody Futrell of Nashville and the McCollum Family of Stuttgart.

In addition to honoring the inductees, the AGFF puts on one of the finest banquets in the state, including supper, live auctions and more. 

“This year we really wanted to continue raising the bar, and I think we did just that,” said AGFF President Deke Whitbeck. “We upgraded the silent auction system to a digital version that you could bid on without leaving your chair during the banquet, and we added a fantastic after-party with live music by Memphis Soul Revue.”

AGFF Director of Programs Ruth-Katheryn Kelly, says the Hall of Fame Banquet continues to grow in popularity, making it possible for the Foundation to continue supporting the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission all year. Although it is the flagship of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts, it is no longer the only banquet they produce. 

“We’re already gearing up for our new fall festival, Into the Wild,” Kelly said. We are now celebrating the third year of this event in Springdale to help raise conservation awareness in the northwestern part of the state.”

Whitbeck says he hopes Into the Wild will become just as large as the Hall of Fame Banquet in time.

“In only its third year, we’re expecting more than 300 people to show up for this event in October,” Whitbeck said. “The venue where we hold it is a large airplane hangar, and we are already able to fill it fairly well. With the renewed conservation efforts in Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s new nature center currently being constructed in Springdale, I think it’s the perfect time to expand our presence in this fast-growing part of the state.”  

Into the Wild will be held Thursday, Oct. 17, at 718 South Old Missouri Road in Springdale. Tickets are available for $125 each and 10-person tables are available at $1,000 each. Sponsorships for the event also are still available. For more information, visit www.agff.org or call the Foundation at 501-223-6468.

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