Brian and Denise Welker (pictured center) being presented with the 6th Annual Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award trophy by Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta (far right) and his wife Mrs. Monique Gussalli Beretta (far left)
Brian and Denise Welker were honored on Tuesday, February 4th with the prestigious Beretta & SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award for their efforts demonstrating extensive international hunting experience and a lifetime of commitment to wildlife conservation and outdoor education through volunteer service and philanthropy.
“It is my pleasure to welcome Brian and Denise Welker as this year’s recipients of the 6th Annual Beretta & SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award,” said Warren A. Sackman, III, SCI Foundation President. “This prestigious award is given to those who have set the standard for supporting wildlife conservation, outdoor education and hunting around the world in both time and resources. The Welkers have dedicated themselves to passing on their legacy to the next generation of hunter-conservationists, having made a lifetime commitment to wildlife conservation, education and humanitarian services. As with our past recipients, we honor their continued dedication and commitment to the cause and especially their support of the Foundation’s mission and programs.”
The Welkers are active with SCI and SCI Foundation, with Brian currently serving on the SCI Foundation Board of Directors and on the SCI Record Book Committee as an African Sub-Chair. Denise was the 2017 Diana Award recipient, works on the International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC), and is involved with the NRA’s Women’s Leadership Forum and Ring of Freedom.
The Welkers have also contributed to children’s education in Africa through Peter Nalos’ African Children’s Schools (school building construction) and iThemba Trust sponsoring five children per year from grade school through high school, and support our Military, First Responders, and Wounded Vets in many ways. Both are proud SCI Life members and continue to enjoy hunting around the world.
Brian and Denise Welker were announced as the winners at the 6th Annual Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award elegant black-tie Gala held in the Tuscany Ballroom at the Peppermill Casino Resort, which was attended by more than 450 guests. As recognition of SCI Foundations highest award, they received an elegant trophy provided by Beretta USA and custom gold and sapphire award pins created by jeweler Madleine Kay.
The evening consisted of the “Oscar-style” award ceremony, gourmet dinner, elite live and, silent auctions and an exclusive after party. The “Conservation Around the World” themed event was emceed by J. Alain Smith, host of the Rugged Expeditions television show and featured auctioneer Yve Rojas, who helped raise money to support SCI Foundation programs through the sale of auction items generously donated by our auction donors.
Finalists for the 2020 award included Arturo J. Gutierrez, Sr., Bela Hidvegi, Robert Model, Tom Snyder, and Gray N. Thornton – 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.