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On Tuesday, January 8, 2019 Safari Club International (SCI) Foundation will hold the 5th Annual Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award Gala at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno, Nevada.

  • The award honors those unique individuals that represent the ultimate embodiment of the hunter-conservationist philosophy and contribute generously to conservation, education and humanitarian services efforts in both time and financial resources.
  • The award gala, SCI Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year, features an “Oscar-style” award ceremony, gourmet dinner, entertainment, and silent and live auctions featuring elite one-of-a-kind items.
  • The money raised will be used to help build the First for Wildlife Endowment Fund, which will be used to fund SCI Foundation’s mission programs dedicated to wildlife conservation and outdoor education for years to come.

We invite you to become a part of next year’s prestigious event by sponsoring or donating an item for our live or silent auction.  By supporting the Foundation’s mission through your sponsorship or auction donation, your company will receive positive industry exposure though our media campaigns and event promotions as well as from the high-profile gala attendees.

Download 2019 Event Packet

(contains : event fact sheet, donor demographics, and silent and live auction item donation and event sponsorship information and forms)

2019 Event Packet

2018 Winners

Ralph and Deb Cunningham, left, are presented with the 4th Annual Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award by Dott. Pietro Gussalli Beretta and his wife, Gretchen, during the Tuesday night gala. 

Ralph and Deb Cunningham Win Prestigious 2018 Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018, Ralph and Deb Cunningham were honored with the prestigious Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award for their efforts demonstrating extensive international hunting experience and a lifetime of commitment to wildlife conservation and education through volunteer service and philanthropy. Over the years, Ralph and Deb Cunningham have contributed generously to Conservation, Education and Humanitarian Services efforts in both time and financial resources.

Deb is a native Texan who grew up in Texas.  Ralph was born in Ohio and moved to Birmingham, Alabama at a young age and grew up there. Deb and Ralph are strong supporters of the NRA, giving generously of their time and resources. Deb is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum giving not only time but strong financial resources to preserve our rights to own and responsibly use firearms. Deb and Ralph are Lifetime Members of SCI and Ralph is a Past President of SCI. They are Founding Members of the SCI Hunter Legacy Fund and have served as Trustees of HLF since its inception. Deb and Ralph are Life Members of Houston Safari Club and both are Past Presidents. They have both been awarded Houston Safari Club’s highest honor – the HSC Frank Green Award, which recognizes outstanding commitment to service and contributions to hunting and wildlife conservation. Ralph and Deb have individually received the Houston Safari Club Outstanding Hunter Award. Deb has served as Chairman of the HSC/Dan L. Duncan Scholarship Award since it was established in 2010 and Ralph and Deb have continued as Legacy Sponsors each year since then helping raise thousands of dollars for students studying wildlife conservation and education.

They are members of Shikar Safari Club and have served as Convention Chairs helping raise a million dollars for wildlife conservation and education. Ralph has served as President of Shikar Safari Club and is a member of the Shikar Safari Club Past Presidents Committee. Ralph is currently serving as a Director of the SCI Foundation. Deb serves as an Advisor for the SCI Foundation Board and serves on the SCI Record Book Committee. Deb is co-chair of the SCI World Hunting Awards Committee and co-chair of the SCI Young Hunter Award. Deb received the SCI Diana Award in 2002 and serves on the SCI Diana Committee. Ralph received the SCI Hall of Fame Award in 2012. Ralph and Deb are Life Members of the SCI Sables and are sponsors of teachers attending AWLS.  They are co-sponsors of the Diana/AWLS Cabin project.

Deb and Ralph are longtime supporters of the SCI World Hunting Award Program and they have each achieved the World Hunting Award Ring and the World Hunting and Conservation Award thus contributing thousands of dollars to wildlife conservation and education. Deb serves on the Advisory Board of USSA, and Deb and Ralph have been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from USSA recognizing their service and strong financial support.

Ralph has worked in the oil, gas, and fertilizer industry for fifty years while pursuing with Deb their passionate quest for hunting excellence worldwide. He and Deb have a lifetime commitment both with their time and resources to wildlife conservation, education and hunter’s rights and feel blessed to have the opportunity to pass on their legacy to their children and grandchildren.

As recognition of the award, the Cunninghams received an elegant trophy provided by Beretta USA and a custom gold and sapphire award pin created by jeweler Madleine Kay.

Ralph and Deb Cunningham were announced as the winner at the 4th Annual Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award elegant black-tie Gala which was attended by over 400 guests. The evening consisted of the “Oscar-style” award ceremony, gourmet dinner, elite live and, silent auctions, emcee J. Alain Smith host of the Rugged Expeditions television show and featured a Masquerade Ball theme.

Finalists for the 2018 Award included Mary A. Cabela, Robert Model, Byron & Sandra Sadler, Tom Snyder, and Howard K. Vincent – all of whom were eminently qualified to receive the award. This year’s finalists will automatically be eligible for next year’s award along with any future nominations.

2017 Winners

Ron Bartels (left) accepts award pin and trophy (below)  from Dott. Franco Gussalli Beretta.  Jackie Bartels was unable to attend the event.

Ron and Jackie Bartels Announced as Winners of Prestigious 2017 Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award.

Ron and Jackie Bartels were honored on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 with the prestigious Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award for demonstrating extensive international hunting experience and a lifetime of commitment to wildlife conservation and education though volunteer service and philanthropy.

Ron and Jackie Bartels were married in 1962 and raised six children. Jackie worked for a local bank and retired 18 years later as Branch Manager.  Ron worked for Conoco for 15 years and Florida Gas Exploration before starting Eagle Consulting, LLC with his partner in 1981.  He sold his portion of the company to his partner and started Eagle Energy Services, LLC where he is General Manager.

Ron and Jackie started hunting internationally in 1988 after purchasing a hunt in Spain at an SCI event. Since then, they have hunted overseas annually including 19 African Safaris, many including family members.  Jackie was the 2007 Diana Award recipient.  Ron received the World Hunting Award Ring in 2005.  They both received the SCI Hall of Fame Award in 2006.

Ron and Jackie Bartels have been volunteers in conservation organizations for over 30 years and are still actively serving on several local and state committees and boards. In 2011, in recognition of their service to Ducks Unlimited and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, the 3255 acre Point-Aux-Chenes Wildlife Management was dedicated in their names.  In 2012, Ducks Unlimited Inc. and Ducks Unlimited CANADA dedicated the Tidlund Project in Saskatchewan to them.  Over the past 22 years, they have put on Sensory Safaris for over 76,000 sight-impaired and sighted children and adults.  They are the founding members of the Louisiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and were instrumental in getting the Louisiana Constitutional Amendment to include the “Rights to Hunt, Fish & Trap” passed. Their family has grown to include 11 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren and most are hunters and shooting sports participants.

As recognition of the award, Ron and Jackie Bartels received an elegant trophy designed by Beretta and hand-crafted in their Italy factory. They will also receive custom gold and sapphire award pins created by master jeweler Madleine Kay.

Finalists for the 2017 Award included Mary Cabela, Ralph & Deb Cunningham, Robert Model, Byron & Sandra Sadler, and Tom Snyder – all of whom were eminently qualified to receive the award. This year’s finalists will automatically be eligible for next year’s award along with any future nominations.

The Bartels were announced as the award winners at the Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award elegant black-tie gala. The sold out event was attended by over 450 guests, including honored guest Dott. Franco Gussalli Beretta.  The evening, emceed by J. Alain Smith, writer and host of the Rugged Expeditions television show, consisted of the “Oscar-style” award ceremony, a gourmet dinner, elite live and silent auctions, and an after party featuring entertainment by “The Rat Pack is Back!”

2016 Winner

Johnny Morris graciously accepts the 2016 Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award.

Safari Club International Foundation Announces Johnny Morris Winner of its Prestigious 2016 Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award.

On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, was honored with the prestigious Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award for demonstrating extensive international hunting experience and a lifetime of commitment to wildlife conservation and education though volunteer service and philanthropy.

Over the years, Johnny Morris has made giving back to conservation a hallmark of his company since he first began selling fishing tackle in the back of his dad’s liquor store in 1971. Over the course of several decades, Morris has dedicated himself to inspiring people, especially youth and families, to love, enjoy and conserve the great outdoors.  He has heavily invested in efforts to conserve our natural resources in a variety of ways.  From wildlife and fisheries conservation to introducing young people to the outdoors to cultivating the next generation of natural resource stewards, he is supporting the conservation community at national and local levels.

A conservationist at heart, Morris recognizes the need for citizens to take a strong position in the careful management and use of our natural resources. Using his entrepreneurial success as a platform for that cause, he has made significant contributions of time and resources to many conservation organizations, such as National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Quality Deer Management Association and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Because Morris strongly believes that hunters and target shooters are America’s first and best conservationists, he works hard to share our outdoor heritage and foster a new generation of conservation stewards.  He is deeply committed to providing youth development opportunities and community outreach and education.

Morris will build on his legacy this year with the opening of the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium – one of the largest, most immersive conservation attractions in the world, in Springfield, Mo. Primarily funded and operated by the nonprofit Johnny Morris Foundation, Wonders of Wildlife consists of an all-new 1.3-million-gallon aquarium adventure showcasing 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds, and an immersive wildlife museum that brings visitors eye-to-eye with the greatest collection of record-setting game animals ever assembled. The 315,000-square foot experience celebrates the critical role responsible hunting and fishing plays in wildlife conservation and inspires visitors to enjoy, love and conserve the great outdoors.

As recognition of the award, Morris received an elegant trophy designed by Beretta and hand crafted in their Italy factory, and in addition a custom gold and sapphire award pin created by jeweler Madleine Kay.

Morris was announced as the winner at the Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award elegant black-tie gala which was attended by over 380 guests, including honored guests Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta and his wife Mrs. Monique Gussalli Beretta. The evening consisted of the “Oscar-style” award ceremony, a gourmet dinner, an elite live auction, silent auction, and live entertainment featuring emcee J. Alain Smith, host of the Rugged Expeditions television show, classical guitarist Daniel Vera and Joe Wiegand as Teddy Roosevelt.

Other finalists for the 2016 Award included Ron and Jackie Bartels, Ralph and Deb Cunningham, Robert Model, Byron and Sandra Sadler, and A.C. (Charles) Smid – all of whom were eminently qualified to receive the award. This year’s finalists will automatically be eligible for next year’s award along with any future nominees.

2015 Winners

Larry and Brenda Potterfield Receiving the 2015 Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award Trophy from Pietro Gussalli Beretta and his wife Gretchen Gussalli Beretta Harnischfeyger

Larry & Brenda Potterfield Win Prestigious 2015 Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award

Larry & Brenda Potterfield, founders of MidwayUSA., were honored last evening with the first ever Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award for demonstrating extensive international hunting experience and a lifetime of commitment to wildlife conservation and education though volunteer service and philanthropy.  Over the years, the Potterfields have contributed generously to Conservation, Education and Humanitarian Services efforts in both time and financial resources.

As recognition of his award, Larry & Brenda Potterfield received an elegant trophy provided by Beretta and a custom gold and sapphire award pin created by jeweler Madleine Kay.

Finalists for the Award included Ralph and Deb Cunningham, Roman DeVille, Robert Model, John L. Morris and Byron and Sandra Sadler – all of whom were eminently qualified to receive the award.  This year’s finalists will automatically be eligible for next year’s award along with any future nominations.

The winner of the prestigious award was announced and presented at the Inaugural Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award Gala at an exclusive, black-tie event attended by over 350 guests.  The evening consisted of the “Oscar-style” award ceremony, a gourmet dinner, an elite live auction, and live entertainment featuring emcee J. Alain Smith, host of the Rugged Expeditions television show and Humorist Jeanne Robertson.

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