Texoma DU changes venue for Tuesday's 45th fundraising dinner

By Lynn Burkhead
For the Herald Democrat

For more than a year, Chris Spiegel and his Texoma Chapter of Ducks Unlimited committee members have known that they would always remember the 2020 Texoma DU fundraising dinner. After all, it’s the group’s 45th such gathering, and in most years, one of the top such DU dinners anywhere in the state.

But then came the COVID-19 pandemic and there was great angst and uncertainty about whether or not the event could go on as scheduled. But in recent weeks, as life and business have returned towards normalcy, the dinner became a real possibility and plans were put into place for the event on Tuesday, October 20, in Denison.

But as with seemingly everything else in this year of the coronavirus and its ongoing effects, nothing is etched in stone until it actually happens. And that includes the 45th Texoma DU dinner, which was forced to make a sudden venue change at the last moment this past weekend.

“We had been scheduled to be at the Hilton Garden Inn Center in Denison,” said Texoma DU co-founder and retired senior regional director Jim Lillis late on Sunday night. “But due to some unforeseen circumstances that were out of our control, we had to shift the dinner’s location to the Mayor Arena at Loy Lake Park. It still begins at 6 p.m., but the location is now different, and the catering will now be provided by Dieter Brothers Barbecue in Lindsay.”

As noted in previous stories, there’s limited seating, health mandates like social distancing will be in place, and this dinner will have a different look and feel. But other than that, the Texoma DU show will go on for the 45th time and counting.

Unless, that is, COVID-19 has something else up its sleeve. But even then, the local quacker backer committee will adapt as best they can and keep things rolling for the ducks. After nearly a half-century of working to keep mallards, pintails, teal, gadwalls, wigeon and more flying into Texomaland, it’s the only way they know how to roll.