Park Cities Quail Honors George Strait With T. Boone Pickens Lifetime Sportsman Award

Conservation's Greatest Night

PR Newswire

DALLAS, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- At their 8th Annual Dinner & Auction on March 6, Dallas based non-profit Park Cities Quail (PCQ) awarded its 2014 "T. Boone Pickens Lifetime Sportsman Award" to legendary entertainer, conservationist and avid sportsman George Strait at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.  Strait was presented a specially designed sculpture of three flushing bobwhite quail created by award-winning sculptor Walter Matia.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140311/MN80417)

Strait was on hand to accept the award and in his acceptance speech reminisced about better days of quail hunting as a youth growing up in South Texas.  Strait addressed the recent quail decline and efforts to reverse it, and said, "I still feel like there is a lot more we can do, and that's what's important about groups like Park Cities Quail."  On returning quail populations to higher levels, Strait said, "I think it can be the same, and I think we can fix it…our wildlife depend on us to fix it, and so do our children and grandchildren." He continued, "We want to see them have the same opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, just like we did."  During his acceptance speech the well-known country music crooner showed the audience he was also an exceptional quail crooner, as he gave a perfect rendition of the call back whistle of a bobwhite quail.

T. Boone Pickens noted Strait's longtime passion for the outdoors and thanked him for taking time from his schedule to attend the annual event.  "George is a lifelong hunter, fisherman, and world-class roper," Pickens said. "George is a true legend and is committed to his life of music, but he also is a wildlife conservationist, and he has the same feelings about quail that I do." 

The T. Boone Pickens Lifetime Sportsman Award is presented annually to a sportsman distinguished by a life of adventure, who demonstrates love of the outdoors, respect for natural resources, and a spirit of generosity that makes it possible for future generations to enjoy the sporting life.

Following the award presentation, PCQ held their Live Auction, which featured several hunts, excursions, and experiences.  A trip for 6 couples to Pickens' Mesa Vista Ranch brought a record $175,000.  Also, an Ultimate Bahamas Experience donated by Carl Allen was purchased for $115,000.  During the auctioning of a VIP concert experience at Strait's final concert in Arlington donated by "King George" himself, Strait delighted the crowd with a spontaneous performance, going onstage to sing a few tunes for the audience using a guitar identical to the one he uses on tour.  The package was purchased by Pickens for $130,000, who also received the guitar autographed by Strait on the spot as part of the package.  "The combined auction prices broke all-time records, and most were above their retail price," said Live Auction Chair John Wagner.  "This is a testimony to the passion people have for our cause."

The 8th Annual Dinner & Auction was attended by nearly 1,100 quail supporters.  The total raised from the event won't be determined until all results are calculated, but total proceeds easily cleared the $1 million mark, and the Live Auction grossed $850,000, according to 2014 Dinner Chairman Joe Bob Shirley.  "We would like to thank Mr. Pickens, Mr. Strait, and all in attendance for making this an amazing night for quail.  With Mr. Strait taking a break from his "The Cowboy Rides Away" tour in support of our cause, he helped Park Cities Quail raise valuable funding for ongoing quail research." Shirley continued, "I would also like to thank our volunteer committee for their hard work and dedication in putting on this great event".

Among the crowd of quail supporters: T. Boone Pickens, Toni Brinker Pickens, Norma and George Strait, Tamara and Bubba Strait, Amanda and George P. Bush, Kent Rathbun, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Janice and Bob Carter, Mandy Murski, Gigi and Carl Allen, Pat and A.V. Jones Jr.

Park Cities Quail was founded in 2006 when a group of Dallas quail hunters concerned about quail decline formed the nonprofit organization to preserve, restore and maintain upland game, educate youth, and improve hunting opportunities for area sportsmen. PCQ's efforts are centered on this one night of fundraising each March, which features a seated dinner, raffle, silent, and live auction and culminates in the presentation of the T. Boone Pickens Lifetime Sportsman Award. Dubbed by sporting industry writers as 'Conservation's Greatest Night,' over the past seven years, the Park Cities Quail Dinner and Auction has resulted in over $3.4 million in direct donations to scientific research and educational efforts.

George Strait is currently celebrating his 40th studio album release, Love Is Everything, which features his 60th #1 single, "Give It All We Got Tonight," and his current single, "I Believe," which he co-wrote with his son, Bubba Strait. Strait is currently on a farewell concert tour "The Cowboy Rides Away", which culminates with a final concert at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on June 7, 2014. To learn more about George Strait: www.georgestrait.com.

To view the videos from the 2014 Dinner & Auction and for more information about Park Cities Quail, its efforts, and beneficiaries: www.parkcitiesquail.org.

ABOUT PARK CITIES QUAIL: Park Cities Quail (PCQ) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization run by a group of Dallas area volunteers who are passionate about sporting tradition and determined to make it available to future generations. As a completely volunteer organization, PCQ donates nearly 100% of every dollar raised towards quail research and youth education. In the past seven years this group has raised and donated nearly $3.4 M directly to benefit its cause. For more information: www.parkcitiesquail.org. PCQ is the charter chapter of the Quail Coalition, a statewide organization with 13 chapters and over 4,000 members. www.quailcoalition.org

Media Contact: Jay Stine, Park Cities Quail, 214-534-4122, jay.stine@quailcoalition.org

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