Annual outdoor banquet to feature well-known local sportsman

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Avid sportsman Bruce Banwell, Jr., a Christian itinerant speaker and local excavator, will be the featured speaker at the Eastport Baptist Church's annual outdoor banquet. Shown with Banwell are his children Olive and Bear. 


REGION – Although it still looks like the dead of winter outside, it’s that time of year again when the last of the small game hunting seasons are coming to an end, and anglers are pondering when they should drag in their ice fishing shanties from the thawing waters of area lakes. It’s also time, once again, for Eastport Baptist Church to host its annual Outdoor Sportsmen’s Banquet on Saturday, March 2 at Shanty Creek Resorts.

This year’s banquet promises to offer all the fun and excitement of past events with the added benefit of a local sportsman as the evening’s featured speaker.

Bruce Banwell, Jr., a local excavator and Christian traveling speaker, will be sharing his experiences as a lifelong avid sportsman pursuing everything from bluegills to bears throughout the country and Canada, as well as in northern Michigan.

Raised in the Green River area near Alba, Banwell studied at Moody Bible Institute in Illinois and was affiliated with New Hope Community Church in Acme before leaving the full-time ministry to work with his father, Bruce Banwell, Sr., in the family's excavating business.

Only a die-hard bear hunter would name his son Bear, which is the name Banwell and his wife Lindsay – who is also an active hunter and angler – gave to their now 2-year-old son. The Banwells also have a daughter, 4-year-old Olive.

The couple recently returned in late January from a three-week mountain lion hunting trip with their children out west, where they had a rare encounter with a female mountain lion and her two kittens. The Banwells spared the life of the adult lioness, which had killed a beloved horse belonging to a local rancher, because of the young age of the kittens.

Banwell is also well known locally for his abilities as a chain saw carver.

As in the past few years, the banquet will be held at Shanty Creek Resort’s Summit Conference Center.

Grand prizes for the 2019 banquet include two Savage Axis and an American Ruger .308 rifle, two shotguns, as well as a crossbow package, a kayak, two golf packages at the Hawk's Eye Golf Resort and Shanty Creek Resorts, a taxidermy package, sporting clays shoot for 10 shooters, and a Manthei fire pit.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at:


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