New Safari Club Chapter Formed
A local chapter of Safari Club International is being formed in Springfield, with room still available for those interested in becoming charter members.
Safari Club is active in more than 100 countries, according to the organization’s Web site http://www.safariclub.org.
The group’s mission statement says it “is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide.”
Tim Spengler, a local Realtor who is helping organize the new chapter, says the group should receive its charter by Dec. 18.
“(Safari Club) is a hunting organization that really promotes education, hunters and conservation efforts,” he says. “We’ve got our game plan together, and we are going to focus on youth and education.”
Thirty percent of the net proceeds raised at one fundraiser a year are required to be sent to the parent organization, allowing the rest of the money to be spent locally.
“We are talking about some good money that could benefit kids and get youth hunting,” Spengler says. “My ultimate goal is to have a hunter safety course in the public schools. I’d like to start with one and prove that it works.”
He says he knows some will oppose firearm safety education classes at schools, but says kids are given the adult responsibility of driving at a young age, too.
“After all, we turn them loose with cars at 16.”
Spengler says the Springfield chapter joins another new chapter being formed in Rockford. Chapters already are active in the St. Louis and Chicago areas, he says.
“It truly is an international organization.”
He says potential members should not shy away just because they are not big game hunters.
“Safari is a word meaning adventure,” he says.
To form a chapter, it takes a minimum of 25 Safari Club International members. Currently, there are no additional dues for the local chapter, although Spengler says a small fee of $10 or $15 could be assessed to help pay expenses like mailings.
The next meeting of the Lincoln Land Chapter of Safari Club International will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at the offices of the Real Estate Group, 3701 West Wabash Ave. in Springfield.