RIDGELAND, MISSISSIPPI – A local high school senior raised $1100 dollars for Ducks Unlimited in a recent golf tournament. Matt Massingill, an avid duck hunter and golfer, developed the fundraiser as part of his senior project.

“It’s wonderful to have someone so young realize the importance of wetlands,” said Chad Manlove, director of development for Ducks Unlimited. “As a nonprofit organization we depend on contributions from people like Matt to put conservation on the ground.”

Northwest Rankin High School seniors are required to do a senior project that will benefit the community. Massingill chose to research wetland conservation and donate the proceeds from his fundraiser to Ducks Unlimited, the leader in wetlands conservation.

During his project research, Massingill discovered that golf courses are required to have wetland areas. That gave him the idea to organize a golf tournament as his fundraiser.

Massingill designed his project to combine his two greatest passions, duck hunting and golf. “I’ve always been an avid duck hunter, and I want to make certain future generations have the same opportunity for enjoyment that I’ve had,” Massingill said.

He began organizing the Bay Point Country Club tournament in December and had fourteen four-person teams participate. “Each team paid a fee to play, and I arranged for nine hole sponsors as well,” Massingill explained. After covering the cost of the March 6 tournament, Massingill handed over a check for $1100 to Ducks Unlimited.

“We were required to raise at least $500 dollars,” Massingill explained, “but I figured why not raise all that I could? I’ve grown up duck hunting and I’ve always heard that Ducks Unlimited does great things for waterfowl and wetland conservation. That’s why I chose to make the contribution to them.”

Massingill, a Flowood native, plans to attend Mississippi State University in the fall where he will major in construction management and land development.

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with over 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands − nature’s most productive ecosystem − and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.