President’s Message

The 2019 Weatherby Award Gala was one of the most successful, exciting, and best-attended galas in Weatherby’s history.

Many of the world’s most accomplished hunters, legendary guides and outfitters, and like-minded celebrities and political leaders came together to celebrate Jim Shockey as this year’s Weatherby Hunting and Conservation Award winner.  Jim is a most-deserving winner, personifying the values and virtues the Weatherby Award represents.

Our guest speaker, Donald Trump, Jr., did an amazing job and captivated the crowd with his personal hunting stories and the sharing of his genuine passion for what we all love.  We sincerely appreciate his willingness to attend our event, and the graciousness he exhibited while interacting personally with our guests.  I’m sure it gives all of us great pride to have someone who shares our way of life be so active in the political arena, standing proud and representing us as hunters.

The success of our event is due in large part to the hard work and dedication of our volunteer board members.  Alain Smith did not let us down and was again an organized, engaging, and entertaining emcee.  Barbara Sackman, Shelley Mason, and other volunteers put together an incredible auction program filled with many unique, one-of-a-kind items that not only delighted our guests but raised an incredible amount of money that will be used toward furthering our mission.  I don’t think any of us will ever forget John Banovich weaving through the tables on the eBike he donated!  Thank you also to Jay Link for leading our team of spotters, contributing to the great success of the event.

A great auction program is made possible only through the generosity of our many donors who take our mission as their own.  The great auction results can only be achieved when our supporters are willing to dig deep and buy those donated items, often paying more than their stated retail value.  We exist because of you, our donors and supporters, without which we couldn’t continue to support our mission program “to educate youth and the non-hunting public on the beneficial role of ethical sport hunting and its contribution to wildlife conservation.”  Thanks to you, in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, Weatherby Foundation International has made grants totaling $182,500 to Freedom Hunters, No Child Left Indoors, Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation, Sportsman’s Alliance, Student Air Rifle Program, Trinity Oaks, and the Inclusive Conservation Group.  With your support, we hope to make an even larger grassroots-level impact this coming year.

The Award, the celebration, and the direct impact we are able to make on our mission programs make us all proud as hunters.  We are successfully carrying on the great tradition of Weatherby Foundation International and the Weatherby Hunting and Conservation Award, as well as meeting our mission and supporting like-minded nonprofits with our expanding grants programs.

We hope you will join us at next year’s Weatherby Award Gala, which will be held Wednesday, 8 January at the Omni Dallas Hotel, and thank you for helping Weatherby Foundation International continue our shared mission “to educate youth and the non-hunting public on the beneficial role of ethical sport-hunting and its contribution to wildlife conservation.”

God bless and good hunting,
Ricardo Longoria