The Rotary Club of Brandon has been hosting its Wild Game Night for decades, the upcoming event marking 47 years, and it is truly a part of Brandon’s history.
“This event has always been a fundraiser for local charities,” said Wild Game Night’s chair, Joe Campoamor. “Last year, we raised $90K for local charities.”
The charities that benefit from Wild Game Night are High 5 Inc., Outreach Free Clinic and Resource Center, ECHO, Hope for Her, Angel Foundation FL, Senior Care Group Foundation, Family Promise Brandon, Gulf Ridge Council Boy Scouts, Rotary’s Camp Florida and the Rotary Club of Brandon Charity Fund.
“We really take our time to vet the local charities that we raise funds for from Wild Game Night,” Campoamor said. “We like to keep the money we raise local, so this is why all of these charities benefit from this event.”
Established in 1961, the Rotary Club of Brandon is a part of the foremost organization for businesspeople and professionals committed to community and international service. Rotary’s motto is “Service above self,” and this motto is why the club has been hosting its Wild Game Night for 47 years. “Last year, we had close to 600 attendees, and this year we are hoping for more,” Campoamor said. “It really is a group effort, as all of our rotary members help with every aspect of Wild Game Night.”
Each year, the guys-only fundraiser attracts outdoorsmen from throughout Hillsborough County eager to sample a variety of expertly prepared wild game fare, including the club’s famous venison chili, quail and wild boar dishes and swamp cabbage. The gentlemen indulge in an authentic Ybor City cigar rolled on-site and socialize with fellow hunting and fishing enthusiasts around an open bar stocked with top-shelf liquors and draft and craft beers.
“Our female Rotarians and our wives volunteer at Wild Game Night,” Campoamor said. “This is an event that is geared more towards men, and a lot of women are OK with it being a guys’ event.”
Last year’s Wild Game Night also saw a new location for the event. For many years, Wild Game Night was held at Lupton’s Boggy Bottom Ranch, a wooded outdoor event venue located in Plant City.
“Lupton’s sold the property, so we are again hosting Wild Game Night at Hillsborough County Fairgrounds,” Campoamor said. “Like last year, we had to prepare all the food, which was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.”
Wild Game Night will be held on Friday, March 3 from 6-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, located at 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Valrico. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased through the Rotary Club of Brandon’s website, www.brandonrotary.org.