Updated Tues., 6/5 – Willard Greenman of Tall Tail Setters in Three Lakes, and member of the local Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) Chain of Lakes Chapter, had a litter of purebred English Setters in March 2012. Being concerned about the future of hunting in the Northwoods, Greenman decided to donate a puppy to a local youth to encourage young people to become excited and supportive of hunting and conservation.
Greenman and the RGS Chain of Lakes Chapter decided to hold an essay contest open to local children under the age of 21. Contestants were asked to submit their answers to a series of questions that included why they wanted a hunting dog and how they would care for it. Parental support and approval was also a prerequisite. Deadline for entries was June 1, 2012.
“We received a lot of great letters and it was difficult to pick the top five candidates,” said Dan Anderson, Chain of Lakes Chapter Chairperson. “After making our selection, we felt it was critical to visit each of the households and meet with the children and their parents to ensure a good match.”
Greenman, along with two other chapter members, met with each family in their homes and chose their top 2 finalists and eventually a winner. However Greenman was haunted by the child they did not select and decided that he would give up the puppy he was keeping for himself so that both children could receive one.
The parents of the winners were contacted and asked to come to the DQ in Eagle River on June 4th but to keep it a surprise to the children. While the families were dining at the outdoor picnic tables, RGS chapter members snuck up behind and inquired who at the table may be looking for a puppy.
“It was great to see the look of shock and disbelief on the kids’ faces,” stated Anderson. “We can’t thank Willard enough for his generosity. He has even offered to assist with the training of each dog.”
The winners were Jessica Tillman of Three Lakes, WI who named her dog Max, and Sawyer Rosner of Phelps, WI who named his pup after one his favorite sport fish, Brook. All of the contestants were given complimentary tickets to the Annual RGS banquet on Aug, 30, 2012 at the Whitetail Inn in St. Germain, WI.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the Chain of Lakes Chapter or would like to attend the RGS banquet can call Anderson at (715) 479-8511 or (715) 617-0845.