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2014 LOWA Annual Conference – Houma

The 2014 LOWA Annual Conference returned to beautiful Houma, Louisiana.  Angela Morehead with the Houma Convention and Visitors’ Bureau worked closely with LOWA personnel again with Angela Morehead to ensure another exciting, informative and fun annual conference!  Houma really rolled out the red carpet to welcome LOWA members.

The Quality Hotel was our host hotel and the accommodations were great.  LOWA members just love their complimentary southern breakfasts!

On Friday morning, some of the members got out on the water for some in-shore saltwater fishing with Capt. Bill Lake.  A couple of members brought their own boats for the adventure.  Even conference Sponsor rep, Craig Eppling of General Motors, joined in on the fun.  Even though he hadn’t been fishing in years, he managed to pull in a few beast redfish.

Back at the hotel after fishing, Chris Macaluso of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, addressed the members for an afternoon craft improvement seminar.

After everyone freshen up, the members and their guests attended the Welcome Reception at the Quality Inn.  The Welcome Reception is the first time many of the members and their guests see each other at the Conference.  As usual, there was a lot of excitement in the air as everyone caught up on what transpired over the last year.

As Saturday dawned and complimentary breakfasts were eaten, no one could have guessed what was going on at the shooting venue, Southern Shooting Center.  When the members arrived to shoot clay pigeons, they were shocked and surprised to find that the Southern Shooting Center experienced a fire the night before.  The fire destroyed their office and sales showroom.  Despite the fire, the owners insisted that the members shoot on.  What a class act in the face of a devastating loss

While the members were shooting, the spouses started their tour at Ardoyne Plantation House.  The owner took time out of his busy schedule to give the ladies their tour.  Becky Krouse even entertained the ladies by playing the home’s piano.  Also, Carol Jones got a thrill when she saw that one of her husband’s books was contained in the home’s library.  After the home tour, the ladies engaged in some retail therapy (of course) and then joined the members for lunch at Plantation Inn.

Back at the hotel, the members attended more Craft Improvement Seminars given by Mike Wood and Craig Gotreau and then the Annual General Membership meeting.

As usual, Saturday night was the highlight of our Annual Conference, the Awards Banquet which took place at the Quality Inn.

Joe Macaluso was our banquet speaker and he kicked off the festivities.  Shortly afterwards, Lyle Johnson, our Fish Records Chairman awarded the Fish of the Year awards.  Next up was David Moreland who, along with Rebecca Triche of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, handed out the Youth Hunter Awards.

After the YHA awards were presented, Joe Macaluso awarded the Youth Journalism Contest winners with their awards.  Finally, Don Dubuc, EIC Chairman presented the LOWA internal awards for Excellence in Craft.

Once all of the awards and accolades were finished up, it was RAFFLE time!  Lots of wonderful prizes were won and, of course, Joe and Cheryl Macaluso won the gun!

The conference was capped off with everyone gathering in the hospitality suite for some final farewells.