Outdoor show vendor

The Alaska Outdoor Council has been a vendor at numerous outdoor sports shows across the state since its inception in 1955.

WASILLA — The Alaska Outdoor Council is hosting its 27th annual Mat-Su Banquet and Fundraiser at the Menard Sports Center Saturday, starting at 4 p.m.

“We’re just trying to have a good time with friends and neighbors,” Alaska Outdoor Council President Bill Iverson said.

The event starts with a no-host open bar at 4 p.m. with dinner at 6:45 p.m. There will be a number of raffles, auctions, and door prizes throughout the evening with live music provided by local artist, John Cook.

According to Iverson, there will be several special guest speakers, including Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

“There’s lots of stuff people get to walk out of there with,” Iverson said. “It’s always a good time for everybody.”

Iverson said that he’s been the Council president for 11 years and it’s important to him to stay involved.

“They’re the only Alaska-based organization that’s fighting for my rights,” Iverson said. “They’re doing fantastic work. They do so much stuff in the background that a lot of people don’t even realize. We lobby in Juneau. We go to all the board of game meetings, all the board of fishery meetings, to make sure that our constituents are represented properly.”

The Alaska Outdoor Council has been around since 1955. Iverson said the group does a lot of important work and events like this help them raise money and awareness for Alaskan outdoor enthusiasts across the state.

“Our mission is to protect your right to hunt, fish, and access public lands. That’s all we do. We’re an Alaskan organization. All the money that we generate stays here and it’s invested in projects for the state. We pretty much have the same goal since it first started,” Iverson said.

The Council holds fundraising banquets across the state while attending a variety of outdoor shows as a vendor. Iverson said they held their Anchorage banquet inside Raven Hall at the Palmer Fairgrounds this year due to the COVID-19. He said they normally hold their Mat-Su Banquet at Evangelo’s but moved to the Menard this year to accommodate for adequate spacing. He said the Fairbanks banquet will take place in November.

Iverson said they’re planning to hold a membership drive, but they haven’t set an official date.

Single dinner tickets for the Mat-Su Banquet are $75 and couple dinner tickets are $140.

For more information about the Alaska Outdoor Council, and to purchase tickets for the upcoming banquet, visit alaskaoutdoorcouncil.org.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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