HUBBARD LAKE - Deer season is just around the corner, and a group of nine regional churches will host an all-day program of hunting-themed events and activities on Saturday in anticipation of the occasion while raising money for social ministries.
The "Deer Hunters Roundup" will be free and open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church at the corner of Nicholson Hill and Hubbard Lake roads, sponsored by the participating churches and open to anyone regardless of membership or religious persuasion.
In addition to venison cooking demonstrations, a deer hunter's fashion show, and competitions for venison sausage and custom deer blinds by mens' groups from respective churches, the event will host a variety of auctions, food and live entertainment options. Participating churches have set up an on-site deer food plot and put together a live deer blind auction and a silent auction for prize baskets, with proceeds to be divided equally among the churches for their social ministries. The local talents of bluegrass gospel group Pickin' for People, led by Beaver Lake Church's Pastor Jack Williams, were recruited to raise money for the church's community food bank.
Enlisted retired DNR game biologist Don Inman will give a one-hour presentation on his research of the history and popularity of deer camps in Northeast Michigan, which he is preparing to compile for publication in a book. The Center Shot Archery Youth Program, a year-round youth ministry and archery program run by St. Paul and Hubbard Lake Bible, also was asked to attend the event with a demonstration.
Event coordinator Randy Fairbanks said the churches first organized the event last year to put their facilities to use with an event that could bring attention and donations to their charitable programs.
"I guess what really got us looking for an event is that our church, St. Paul's, had acquired the Hubbard Lake Elementary School, and it was a beautiful facility, nice grounds, a beautiful location, and it's more room than what we actually use at this point, but we thought we'd put on an event that would showcase our facilities that we have and also involve other churches within the community so that as Christians we can all work together for a common good," he said.
Though the event is free to attend, Fairbanks said the churches would accept free will offerings to benefit their charitable programs.
"It is not an event to sell the doctrines of the participating churches, but by inviting the churches to participate, it becomes a community-wide effort, and we suggest that the money that it generates go back to the individual churches' social ministries, be it a food bank or a catastrophic illness or injury to a member or a member of the community, and I'm sure there are other social ministries that other churches are looking at," he said. "Basically it would be a benefit to a member of the community. They wouldn't have to be a member of a church at all, just that there was a need, and churches get called all the time from people in the community that need help with either food, clothing, housing, heating fuel, and this event raises some money that can go back to these people."
Andrew Westrope can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5693.