INDIANAPOLIS — Former business owner
raises funds for fishery
By Brenda L. Holmes
INDIANAPOLIS — Pat Galyan’s family started a string of sporting goods stores. Now he’s helping to raise funds for The Conservation Fund/Save The Last Great Fishery in Alaska.
Galyan’s father opened the first Galyan’s sporting goods store in Plainfield. Pat Galyan took over the company after he returned from serving in the U.S. Navy.
“I’ve lived in Indianapolis my whole live with the exception of my time in the Navy,” Galyan said. “I was stationed in the Aleutian Islands.”
The Aleutian Islands sweep westward from the tip of the Alaska Peninsula.
“A friend I was stationed with went to work for Fish and Wildlife,” Galyan said. “He worked there for 20 years then went to work for The Conservation Fund. He was heading up Save The Last Great Fishery project and he asked me to help him out. That’s how this all got started.
“The bottom line is we are protecting 40 million acres of habitat in southwest Alaska. This is prime salmon habitat that is about the size of Washington state.”
He said The Conservation Fund has taken on a 10-year $10 million project.
“We get about $50 million from federal and state funds and $40 million from foundations,” he said. “That leaves $10 million to come from the private sector.”
He said the fund has a 10 to one leverage.
“So for every dollar we raise, we can match it 10 times from the government and foundations,” he said. “This means we can protect an acre of ground in perpetuity for 50 cents. That’s a tremendous return on the investment. You can’t even buy bubble gum out of a vending machine for that.”
For more than a decade now, Galyan has hosted a fundraising event for the project. This year’s event is Feb. 13 at The Ritz Charles in Carmel.
“This is a non-couples event,” he said. “Normally, the primary donor is a guy or gal. We ask them to come as a single so we can get twice as many people in the room.”
Cocktails will begin at 5 p.m. and dinner will start at 7 p.m. A live auction and silent auction take place and it will all wrap up by about 9:30 p.m.
“This is a weekday event, a school night, and we know people need to get home because they have work the next day,” Galyan said.
The event includes a silent auction using a BidPal format.
“You will get an iPod Touch and you will be able to bid on all the items from there,” Galyan said. “If someone bids higher, you will get a message or you can bid with increments so it will bid for you automatically.”
He said the new format makes the process for bidders more streamlined.
“It just makes it run smoother and more efficiently,” Galyan said. “There are lots of trips in the auction — fishing trips and hunting trips — all kinds of outdoor gear as well.”
Tickets for the event are $250 for one, $1,000 for four (a half table), and $2,000 for eight (a full table).
The website for the event is www.SaveTheLastGreatFishery.org. Auction items are being added all the way up until the day of the event.
To purchase tickets, e-mail Galyan at email@example.com or his assistant, Sue Cox, at firstname.lastname@example.org.