WHITE BEAR LAKE -- The female staff at Pheasants Forever's national office have formed Minnesota's first all-women Pheasants Forever chapter, the Minnesota Lady Slippers. The organization's one other all-women chapter is the Red Cedar Women's Chapter based in Menomonie, Wis.
PF's national office has 31 employees, 17 of which are women. The new chapter plans to host its first fundraising banquet April 7 at the Withrow Ballroom in Stillwater.
"We really owe the Red Cedar Women's Chapter credit for this new Minnesota women's chapter," said Diane Weyandt, chapter treasurer and PF director of membership. "Over the years we've always attended their banquet. They do a great job and we've always had a blast. As national employees we've seen the youth and habitat projects their chapter has accomplished in the Menomonie community. They have been our inspiration and we hope to accomplish similar things for Minnesota."
The new chapter has met once and appointed officers. They hope to attract other Minnesota women who hunt, fish and care about the outdoors and the environment, said Heather Gast, chapter president and PF's Ringnecks program specialist.
"Our vision is to rally Minnesota's female outdoor voice," Gast said.
The new chapter will focus its efforts on youth-oriented projects. Most of the women at PF don't hunt, but see the good PF is doing for kids and the environment, Gast said.
PF has a variety of youth programs, including the Ringnecks youth membership and the Leopold Education Project, and partnerships with the National Wildlife Federation, National Shooting Sports Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Women who are interested in joining the Minnesota Lady Slippers should contact Diane Weyandt at (877) 773-2070, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The chapter's next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 at the Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes.
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