MSA Banquet Contributed Photo

The 27th Annual Mogollon Sporting Association banquet was held earlier this month at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino. Tony McDaniel (center) accepted the Legacy Award on behalf of the late Ronnie McDaniel.

The Mogollon Sporting Association held its 27th annual banquet earlier this month at the Mazatzal Casino. Once again, it was a tremendous success.

The vision for this fundraising organization began over a quarter of a century ago by a group of local citizens who had a passion for helping youth in the local schools and improving wildlife habitat in the Rim Country. The uniqueness of the MSA is that all profits generated from the banquet stay right here with no funds going to any national organization or elsewhere.

The founders made it very specific in their bylaws that youth opportunities and wildlife enhancement would be evenly distributed at 50/50 from all funds generated by the yearly banquet. After the most recent banquet, the all-volunteer club has generated a total of $2.2 million that has stayed right here in the Rim Country for helping youth in our local schools and wildlife enhancement, which includes huntable game and catchable fish.

The model that the MSA banquet has developed is the envy of a multitude of communities and other organizations. Many have attended the big evening with the hope of learning how it is so successful year in and year out and hopefully glean some tips for their own fundraiser.

One of the keys is that a volunteer staff is ever increasing with an emphasis on new blood to blend with the proven veterans who have donated years of experience and work.

The torch has been passed, with 2019 president Jake Swartwood and vice president Tyson McKee leading the vision for the next generation of the Mogollon Sporting Association to even more successful fundraisers.

Kudos to this year’s banquet co-chairs Orson Branch and Darrin Boyd who were instrumental in carrying out the banquet plans and everyone who volunteered their time and energy. Of course, a big thank you goes out to all the businesses that gave generously with outstanding prizes that were auctioned, raffled, or just given away.

The MSA initiated the Legacy Award 10 years ago to honor a local resident who has made a distinct contribution to youth, wildlife, and the community. This year’s recipient was Ronnie McDaniel, who passed away just a few months ago. His son, Tony accepted the award for his dad, as a standing ovation was given for the beloved Ronnie Mac. There were not many dry eyes at that moment.

Again, to everyone involved, thank you for making a positive impact. As a former coach and teacher, I understand the benefits of a local group seeing a vision and carrying out a tremendously successful banquet, which benefits youth and wildlife conservation in the area.

If you would like to be a part of something special, the MSA is always looking for new energetic members who want to make a positive difference in our community. Contact them at and be a part of next year’s banquet.

This weekend enjoy this great weather, take a friend fishing, and enjoy the Rim Country, God’s creation.

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