CALDWELL, Idaho — Idaho Backcountry Vets started in 2017 with the idea of connecting veterans with each other and the outdoors through hunting and fishing.
This non-profit is gearing up for the biggest fundraiser of the year and they will hold their annual banquet on Saturday, June 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the High Desert Station in Star.
"We have auctions, ticket drawings and lots of guns," said Kevin McFarland of Idaho Backcountry Vets. "There is a little misconception about the banquet and who can go, I just want to let everybody know it is open to everybody."
If you buy your ticket before June 6 you will be entered into a drawing for a trip to Mexico, this event also provides a great way to get to know this organization and connect with veterans.
Idaho Backcountry Vets will also host their annual Kokanee tournament at Fall Creek Marina on Anderson Ranch Reservoir on July 10, just like the banquet this event is also open to the general public.
"Fall Creek Lodge upped the first place prize to $3,000," said McFarland. "They are going to have Fall Creek Days up there which is a festival type deal with vendors and stuff like that.”
Idaho Backcountry Vets has also grown into a community that supports veterans and that was on full display last fall when a veteran posted on IBV's Facebook page that he was considering taking his own life.
The community responded and several invitations were offered to this veteran, the very next day he went duck hunting with guys at Idaho Backcountry Vets.
"There are 2,500 members in there and they all just kind of rallied around and helped this veteran out," said McFarland. "He is still here and that’s awesome, that is why we are here, that’s why we exist."
This non-profit runs off donations and 100 percent of the money they raise goes towards getting veterans into the outdoors.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or tendencies, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline any time of day at 1-800-273-8255.