On April 15, 2016 the non-profit Southwest Conservation Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana caught fire around 10:30pm. First spotted by the caretaker, firefighters were called to the scene who fought the blaze for over two hours.
The damage was vast and extensive. The origin of the fire has been reported to have started over the kitchen area and spread throughout the kitchen and attic. Smoke, heat and water damage is visible throughout the rest of the building. It was indicated by firefighters that the fire was not caused due to negligence by any member and may have been a malfunction from a ventilation fan in the attic.
The Southwest Conservation Club has been a long-standing organization in the Fort Wayne area for the conservation and preservation of the natural environment since 1938. Its purpose and pledge is to “Promote true sportsmanship and principles of broad conservation; To promote legislation designed to conserve and restore wildlife in our coverts and waters; And to promote and cooperate in the beautification and purification of our rivers.”
The club is nested on 37 acres within the city, consisting of four ponds, trap & skeet fields, firearms range, archery course, a campground and hiking trail. Although the club is private to members, it generally holds more than two public events on its property each week.
The club’s plan is to continue to hold all of its regular outdoor events including 3D Archery (second Saturday every month), Trap & Skeet (second & last Sunday every month), and Flea Market (second Saturday every month). And new this year, the club will host a hands-on pollinator education program connecting kids and adults with the environment. All members will still have access to the grounds including the ponds, range and walking trails. A temporary club office, TBD, will be set up off-site to maintain the working organization.
This tragic event has been devastating to the organization who has operated on a shoe-string-budget through the support and hard work of volunteers over the course of its 78-year history. The club is working with insurance to create a plan for remodeling or rebuilding entirely, but all of the damage may not be covered and is estimated to take more than 6 months to be fully operational again.
They ask for your financial support of any amount to help this historic non-profit get through the troubled times. Funds raised will go towards remodeling/rebuilding and operating expenses to help them through the next 6 months. The Southwest Conservation Club is a 100% volunteer-based organization. No funds raised go towards payroll for any member of the non-profit organization.
For credit card / online donations visit: www.gofundme.com/swcchelp
For any donations by check please mail to:
Southwest Conservation Club
P.O. Box 9242
Fort Wayne, IN 46899-9242