ALBANY, Ga. -- Quail Unlimited's largest fundraising effort of the year kicks off Thursday with the scheduled Bruners Landowners Reception Banquet at Darton College at 6:30 p.m.
QU's 25th Annual Celebrity Conservation Event brings in corporate CEOs and executives, in addition to VIP guests and celebrities ranging from NFL, Major League Baseball, PGA and LPGA athletes to country music, television and film stars.
All the participants are in town to support a tradition they cherish with one simple goal in mind: to maintain and grow quail populations.
"We hear the same thing from our returning guests each year," QU President Bill Bowles said. "They always have complementary remarks about the folks they meet here. The first-timers are always swept off their feet by the gracious hospitality, the Southern cuisine and the old style of quail hunting almost nonexistent anywhere but here."
Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Lisa Riddle said the three-day event will pump more than $100,000 into the local economy.
"The guests and the celebrities love Albany," Riddle said. "They enjoy the hunting, the hospitality and how great Albany takes care of them. A lot of people from the city buy tickets to attend the events, and since moving their headquarters to Albany, Quail Unlimited has really helped support local businesses."
Hunting activities will begin Friday morning, followed by the annual conservation dinner and live auction at 6:30 p.m. at Darton.
Saturday will be a repeat of the previous day afield, with the weekend concluding at the Quail Unlimited Budweiser Party beginning at 6:30