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Annual hunt raising funds for youth football

Three years ago, the Mount Vernon Area Youth Football Club started its annual fundraiser hunt.

Thirty hunters participated in the first year of the pheasant hunt, which begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rosewood Barn Lodge in Mount Vernon.

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There are 38 people participating in this year’s hunt, which is the largest amount of any year. The event raises money for the spring football team.

“We wanted to have a fundraiser to start the program,” Mount Vernon Area Youth Club director Fred Prien said. “We figured that is the easiest way to raise money. We needed money for pads for all of the kids in our spring program and we wanted to do it quickly.”

The event was originally scheduled for March 1 but was postponed due to inclement weather.

Prien said there were 35 third-graders who played spring football in 2011. The club has since grown to 100 kids from the third to sixth grade, who all play tackle football. The fundraiser is designed to keep the cost reasonable for the families of kids who want to play.

“People are concerned about the area youth and they want us to have the best opportunity for our kids,” Prien said. “We have kids from nine different towns and it is an important event to put the money out there for every kid to play.”

The club will also sponsor a silent auction with autographed items from Mount Vernon native and Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway. Prien said the fundraiser normally brings in $6,000 each year. There will also be a social event with door prize giveaways.

“We have been grateful for all the staff and volunteers who help out in the spring and the fall,” Prien said.