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Released January 05, 2005


HATTIESBURG - The Mississippi Wild Turkey Federation aims to help high school seniors planning to attend The University of Southern Mississippi by raising scholarship money with a raffle at its annual banquet Feb. 5 at the Forrest County Multi Purpose Center. A nonprofit organization that promotes the sports of hunting and fishing in Mississippi, the MWTF is currently selling tickets for a Ruger-12 gauge Red Label over-and-under with a stainless steel receiver and barrel imprinted with both the university and MWTF logos. Money generated by ticket sales will go to this year's scholarship fund.

"The Mississippi Wild Turkey Federation is a firm believer in higher education for our state's youth," said Dean Bertram, a Southern Miss forensic science instructor and MWTF member. To date, the MWTF has contributed $10,000 to the Southern Miss scholarship fund, Bertram said.

Bob McKellar, chairman of the MWTF scholarship fund-raising committee, said the scholarship will be awarded to "deserving students who need financial aid to go to college."

"The decision is based on leadership qualities, academics and recommendations from the school the student attends," McKellar said. Applications for the MWTF scholarship will be sent to all schools in the Pine Belt area, McKellar said.

This year, the MWTF is holding its annual banquet at the Forrest County Multi Purpose Center because attendance has grown steadily each year.

"We printed 600 tickets last year, when we held our banquet at the Hattiesburg convention center. We're moving to the multipurpose center and printing 800 tickets this year. Each year we've grown; we started at the Jackie Dole Sherrill Center downtown, moved to the Elk's Club, then the convention center and now the multipurpose center," McKellar said.

For scholarship information, high school seniors should pick up a packet in their guidance counselor's office at their school. The gun is currently on display at Big Buck Sports in Hattiesburg. It will be raffled at the banquet, which starts at 5:30 p.m.

Raffle tickets for the rifle are $10 and are available at the following locations: Turner Bros. Taxidermy; Southern Miss Alumni Association; Plum Trophy Sales in Sumrall; Gulf Coast Southern Miss Development Office; Campus Book Mart; Terry's Pawn and Trade in Sumrall; Big Buck Sports; and Leaf River Outdoors in Petal.

For more information, contact Dean Bertram at (601) 266-5124.


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April 1, 2005 11:10 AM