Mike Conner of the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center was the guest speaker at the Exchange Club of Albany's meeting on Friday.
ALBANY — With a loud round of applause, members of the Exchange Club of Albany heard that the club’s 16th annual Deputy Dawg Golf Classic in April raised more than $9,500 to be used in the fight against child abuse.
“What we do is give to the (Exchange Club) national fund, the state fund and our local organizations like Open Arms,” said Bill Banks, club secretary, “It goes to help in the fight against child abuse.”
The split gave the club $7,000 to spread to organizations in the fight against child abuse, to finance scholarships for worthy students and to help the community in a myriad other ways.
Banks emphasized the importance of Kimbrel Stern Funeral Directors’ participation in underwriting insurance for the event’s $10,000 50-foot putt contest and other sponsors contributions.
“We’ve never had a winner,” Banks said. “We do give out $4,500 in cash prizes to participants every year.”
The club also handed a $500 check to Patty Woodall, the director of Albany Community Hospice, to help with that organization’s work.
Woodall said she appreciated the money, but said she also liked coming to the meeting for another reason — to hear all the bad jokes that are told.
The exuberance about the Deputy Dawg golf tournament success didn’t leave much time for the speaker Mike Conner of the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center to talk.
Conner managed, however, to fit a highly informative speech on the balance that must be struck between predators and prey in wildlife management into a talk that was less than 15 minutes long.
“It is not a matter of saying all predators are bad. That is not the case,” Conner said. “It is not simple. But predators are needed to keep (other animals, such as) the cotton rat in control.”
To achieve balance in which nature flourishes, it is not an either/or situation, Conner said. Those who hold that the “only good raccoon is a dead raccoon” are as wrong as those who say all animals are sacred and should not be removed, he added.
“Predator control is not for everyone,” Conner said. “It is a valuable tool that must be applied in specific instances.”