The 7th annual Unity College Sportsmen’s Conference and Wild Game Dinner raised $6,000 for three charities.

Held at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, April 12, the sold out fundraiser benefited Operation Game Thief, a private, non-profit organization that works with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Warden Service to pay rewards to citizens who turn in poachers; The Maine Warden Service Association; and Get Back Outdoors, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting veterans.

The event featured an eclectic mix of diners, some with no connection to hunting but who enjoyed the opportunity to try a broad selection of wild game prepared by Chef Charlie Krause, a Culinary Institute of America trained chief who has held executive positions in some of America’s finest restaurants. Krause was assisted by the event organizer, Joe Saltalamachia, Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Unity College.  This was the first year that Krause cooked at the game dinner, though he is familiar with it through his full-time job as Unity College’s Student Center Manager and Catering Chef.

The five-course dinner included dishes featuring beaver, moose, deer, wild boar, and elk.

Professor Pat Clark considers attending the dinner to be a personal tradition.  Often friends and former colleagues attend the dinner as a reunion of sorts.

Clark was joined at her table by Kay Fiedler, a former Director of Admissions at Unity College who lives in Waterville, as well as Unity College Professor Gerry Saunders and his wife, Christie.

“This dinner is just such fun,” Clark noted.  “It is a chance for people to try meat that they do not find easily accessible.  There are hunters and people with no connection to hunting seated side-by side.  It is a nice experience for everyone.”  She added that the charity component is an important focus and one that frames the event as important beyond entertainment.

The event was recently featured in Portland Monthly Magazine and has been listed among Maine’s top 20 “must do” events by the Bangor Daily News.  It has also been profiled in other publications.

In recent years Unity College has gained national attention for a variety of achievements including: its focus on sustainability science, the leading-edge of 21st century ecological problem solving and the vanguard in the fight for the mitigation of global climate change; its ground-breaking “green” innovations such as the award-winning TerraHaus, the first student residence on a college or university campus built to the Passive House standard, the most energy efficient building standard in the world; and for being the first college in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels, igniting a growing national movement in higher education.

Unity College is a private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Monday, April 22, 2013