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Elk Tag Raffle raises more than $100K for 'Annie's House' amid budget cuts

(KFYR)
Published: Jul. 17, 2016 at 4:32 PM CDT
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If you're a hunter in North Dakota and you win an elk tag, you're one of the lucky ones.

A group in Bottineau raffled off one of these elusive tags July 16, but it was all for a good cause—and they wound up raising big money in the process.

Joe Skurzewski has more from Bottineau.

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Call it a night of fun and fundraising in Bottineau.

Hundreds gathered Saturday night to help support the Adaptive Recreation Center at the Bottineau Winter Park, a program aimed at giving those with disabilities the chance to ski, snowboard, fish and just get outside. The center is part of Annie's House at the park, named after North Dakota woman Ann Nicole Nelson, who died on 9/11.

“We see the smiles and the elation of the veterans and people who have disabilities and don't get to go out and experience a lot of different things. What you're doing as a community, and across the state, has truly made a difference,” said Cynthia Jelleberg, the President of the Bottineau Winter Park.

People from across the state bid on special prizes, from artwork to hunting rifles. But the real treasure of the night? An elusive elk hunting tag.

With the help of state lawmakers and the North Dakota Game & Fish Department, board members with the winter park raffled off a tag--and raised more than $100,000 for Annie's House in the process.

“It's a great group of volunteers that help this thing go along. They give very freely and generously of their own time to make these kind of things happen,” said ND Game & Fish Director Terry Steinwand.

The money couldn't come at a better time, as the winter park lost its state funding with the latest budget cuts, but members with the park say the community has rallied to support them.

“It's not only Bottineau. It's Rugby, Rolla, Rolette, Willow City. They all came together, Kramer, Souris, to make this happen and continue this amazing program at Annie's House,” said Bryan Schweitzer, an Elk Tag Committee member.

Making sure that everyone can enjoy the great outdoors, no matter their ability.

Karson Schepp of Kramer was the lucky winner of the elk hunting tag.

Karson couldn't attend Saturday night, but we want to congratulate him for winning the elusive tag.