Jack the puppy got plenty of attention at the Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation’s seventh annual Duck Pluckers, Deer Skinners and Fish Hookers Ball. Jack raised $1,500 in the live auction. Pictured (from left) are Cindy Lewis, Kelli Lauschke, Cass Funkhouser, Nancy Simpson, Gaye Julian, Sandy Lauschke, Liz Buck, Jane Cavin and Martha Morse.
ALTON — The proverbial “birds of a feather” were flocking together at the seventh annual Duck Pluckers, Deer Skinners & Fish Hookers Ball April 25 at Nilo Farms near Brighton.
The event, sponsored by Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation, raised nearly $75,000 toward the purchase of a new ambulance, equipped with Bluetooth technology for performing EKGs on the way to the hospital.
AMH has six “Duck Plucker” ambulances in operation, with a seventh on the way.
The unpredictable weather didn’t seem to faze the nearly 400 people in attendance. Some shot arrows at a $100 bill while others cast their lines into strategically placed hula hoops.
Highlighting the competitions was the Homer Clark Quail Flush Championship, where 14 teams competed for the title. Defending champions Jason Bowman and Shane Liley shot second, getting off to a great start by hitting 24 of 25 targets. They seemed poised to win again until the 13th team, Robert Bourbon and Matt Malone, also hit 24 of 25. The Quail Flush went into a shootout, where Bourbon and Malone hit all 25 of the clay pigeons. Each was feted with an engraved ice bucket and a bottle of champagne.
Debbie Turpin and Meredith Parker won the Best Decorated Table contest, with a “Hunters & Gatherers” theme that included a totem pole and hanging feathers signifying wisdom and trust.
Sizzling steaks, spinach mashed potatoes, maple glazed carrots, sautéed peppers, mushrooms and onions were dished up from cast-iron skillets. Caesar salad, jalapeño cornbread muffins and gourmet cupcakes donated by Duke Bakery made for a memorable meal.
Live and silent auctions followed dinner and the evening concluded with dancing to the music of the Glendale Riders.
“I’m an outdoorsman myself, so this is my kind of event,” said Dave Braasch, president of Alton Memorial Hospital. “It’s fun to see people you normally see in business attire wearing camo and waders. And every year the contests seem to get more competitive. I’ve already heard people talking about how they’re going to decorate their table next year.”
Also overheard were folks kidding their friend who purchased the Soup-a-Month for $1,400. The winner and his family will have a tasty soup meal delivered to their house once a month for the next year.
“I didn’t do it for the soup,” he replied. “I did it because someday that ambulance might be pulling up in front of my house.”