MUCC’s First Presidents’ Dinner a Success

MUCC Executive Director Dan Eichinger elaborates on MUCC’s four pillars — advocacy, education, communication and habitat — during the organization’s first Presidents’ Dinner.

Despite frigid temperatures and the heaviest snowfall of the winter season for Central and Southern Michigan, more than 80 club presidents, representatives, staff, board members and their guests braved the weather to attend Michigan United Conservation Clubs first Presidents’ Dinner on Friday.

The night started with a cocktail hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m., where guests were able to network with other club representatives about what innovative things they are doing at their respective clubs. Topics included range management, membership dues, volunteer efforts and youth outreach.

The purpose of the dinner was to bring together a group of like-minded people, reinvigorate the purpose of MUCC within their clubs, educate club members about what MUCC staff does in Lansing and provide a fun-filled evening for everyone.

During dinner, club representatives had the opportunity to become acquainted with staff and board members while they enjoyed the three-course meal. This was a vital opportunity for clubs to express their opinions and ideas for the organization moving forward, as well as being able to get to know a few of the people advocating for their interests in Lansing.

MUCC Board President Tom Heritier, from Saginaw, said this was a great opportunity to reconnect the members to those who serve on their behalf.

“It is important for clubs to feel connected to and heard by the organization that represents their interests in Lansing, in our natural resources world and through habitat improvement projects,” Heritier said. “This event was a great opportunity to expound on what MUCC does and why its affiliate clubs are vital pieces of the organization’s operations.”

Following a steak dinner, MUCC Executive Director Dan Eichinger explained the four pillars of MUCC: advocacy, communications, education and habitat work. Eichinger detailed all of MUCC’s programs that fall within one of these four pillars; from MUCC’s attempt to reach young professionals through Gourmet Gone Wild to the organization’s award-winning habitat program On the Ground, they were all on display to help club representatives better understand the work MUCC does in Lansing and around the state.

MUCC would like to thank the Lake St. Clair Walleye Association for their generous donation of $4,000 to help with facility improvements at Michigan Out-of-Doors Youth Camp in Chelsea, Michigan which was presented during the Presidents’ Dinner. MUCC depends on donations like these and volunteer efforts to help reach the next generation of conservationists.

Although the camp property and facility is owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, MUCC has been charged with the upkeep and revitalization of the 1940s camp. Since the camp’s inception, MUCC has been able to educate more than 50,000 kids about the importance of becoming conservation stewards.

MUCC Executive Director Dan Eichinger said it is important for the organization’s grassroots process to celebrate the accomplishments and victories we have accomplished together.

“Because MUCC is an affiliate organization, it’s important for us to gather the leaders of our affiliates to celebrate the positive impact we are all making on behalf of Michigan’s outdoor heritage,” Eichinger said. “We rely on our affiliate clubs and their members to help us make a lasting impact on Michigan’s conservation legacy.”

The Presidents’ Dinner is something that Michigan United Conservation Clubs would like to continue as an annual tradition.

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