LITTLE ROCK — The 2019 Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame is coming up Saturday, August 24 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. This year marks the 28th anniversary of this celebration of the outdoors and the men and women who have stepped up to promote Arkansas’s natural resources.
The Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet is hosted by the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, a 501 c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the outdoors that serves as the fundraising adjunct to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
This year's class of inductees include: MaryAnn King of London, Catherine and Tommy Murchison III of Cabot, Woody Futrell of Nashville and the McCollum Family of Stuttgart.
According to a release from the AGFF, the McCollum Family is credited with the current business model of the modern duck club and thus occupies a place in the history of Arkansas duck hunting.
“Generations of McCollums have helped advance the business and habitat science of ducks, including perfecting many of the conservation and natural resources management practices so common today. Their vision, ingenuity and skill helped lay the foundation upon which Arkansas duck hunting has grown into a multi-million dollar industry,” the release said.
King, founder and owner of Pine Ridge Gardens in London, is often considered the most knowledgeable in Arkansas when it comes to using native plants in the landscape, the release said. She is credited with educating generations of amateurs and professionals on native plants and their role in bird, wildlife and butterfly habitats.
The husband and wife Murchison team "founded the Arkansas Big Buck Classic, an event that recognizes the quality of whitetail hunting available in Arkansas, as well as promoting good sportsmanship, conservation, education and ethical hunting,” the release noted.
The Arkansas Big Buck Classic is held at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds and averages nearly 38,000 visitors annually. Since it started in 1990, the event has raised over $200,000 for causes including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Shriners Hospital for Children and C.H. Vines 4-H Center. It has also raised about 50,000 cans of food for Hunters Feeding the Hungry among other charities.
Futrell was an avid boat racer in the 1950s and took over the family business, Futrell Marine, which his father Dan Futrell established in 1948. He has since become one of the most well-known and respected businessmen in retail boating.
“Every year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation recognizes individuals whose contributions to the great outdoors transcends mere hobby,” said Deke Whitbeck, president of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation. “The individuals we honor have devoted their time, energy and passion for the outdoors in such a way that preserves and enhances our wild spaces for generations to come. We are proud to once again recognize such outstanding Arkansans.”
Tickets for the event are $125; tables of ten are available for $1,250 each. The night will include dinner, live and silent auctions and induction ceremony.
Proceeds from the event support the year-round work of the Foundation, which helps introduce hundreds to the outdoors every year. AGFFs mission supports AGFC initiatives, particularly those aimed at getting young people unplugged and engaged in Arkansas’s outdoors.
For tickets or information, call (501) 223-6468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.