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Duck Pluckers Ball raises nearly $175,000; enables added ambulance to AMH fleet

Kelly and Ryan Brandt of St. Louis were the winning bidders for one of the Duck Pluckers Balls perennial favorite live auction items, a Labrador Retriever puppy who they named June. She was donated by the Hon. Barry and Gaye Julian, Sievers Kennels in Calhoun County and Ryan Waltz of Otter Creek Retrievers.


Success is an annual occurrence for Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation’s Duck Pluckers, Deer Skinners and Fish Hookers Ball. The 14th edition held Sept. 16 raised close to $175,000.

Funds will go toward the purchase of another Alton Memorial Hospital ambulance equipped with $125,000 worth of life-saving equipment.

Alton Memorial Hospital President Dave Braasch thanked all the attendees and volunteers for their hard work in making the annual Duck Pluckers Ball another success.

“The support we receive at this event from our community each year has been spectacular,” said AMH President Dave Braasch. “This year was no exception. This unwavering support allows us to keep our hospital-based ambulance fleet equipped with the latest technology and road-ready. I’d like to shout out a big ‘Thank You’ to the people who sponsored the event, worked at the event, and came and donated at the event. Your contributions in maintaining and enhancing Emergency Medical Services in our region are commendable.”

AMH is the largest hospital-based ambulance service in the area, covering nearly 400 square miles in Madison, Jersey and Macoupin counties.

George Milnor, chairman of the Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation board of directors, got in the camouflage mood for the Duck Pluckers Ball held at NILO Farms in Brighton on Sept. 16

“It was another resounding success for our unique event,” said George S. Milnor, chairman of the AMHSF board. “Thanks to all our sponsors, donors, all returning and new supporters, the committee and our staff who provide the best care close to home. What a great time.”

More than 350 attendees at NILO Farms in Brighton perused silent and live auction items, observed the ever-popular Homer Clark Quail Flush championship and enjoyed an outstanding steak dinner served up by the Morrison Food and Nutrition staff from AMH. Mark Harman served as auctioneer, and the evening concluded with the music of the Glendale Riders.

“On behalf of the entire EMS staff, we would like to say thank you to our sponsors, donors, and everyone who contributed to the Duck Pluckers, Deer Skinners, and Fish Hookers Ball,” said AMH EMS manager Jason Bowman. “This event would not have been a success without your continued support.”

The Duck Pluckers Ball raises funds for a new ambulance equipped with life-saving equipment such as automated CPR machines, glidescopes to see the airways of patients in respiratory distress, and Zoll cardiac monitors that send information about a patient’s heart to the AMH Emergency Department before they arrive.

Jason Bowman, manager of Emergency Medical Services for Alton Memorial Hospital, served as one of the spotters for the event’s live auction.

“Shannon Fraley and I would like to thank everyone who played a role in this amazing event,” said Olivia Klockenkemper, manager of Development and AMHSF at AMH. “That includes our generous sponsors, the Duck Pluckers Committee, the Foundation board, the team at NILO, Morrison, St. Peter’s Hardware, our AMH volunteers, and our staff who graciously volunteered. We are so glad to have these folks involved and look forward to working with them in the future.”

If you would like to be a part of Duck Pluckers next year (the date will be Saturday, Sept. 14, 2024), contact Olivia or Shannon in the AMH Development office by calling 618-463-7701 or via email at or

“The EMS team would also like to thank the Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation, the AMH leadership team, and the Duck Pluckers committee,” Bowman said. “Your continued support allows the AMH EMS team to provide the highest level of pre-hospital care to the communities we serve with the most updated equipment.”


All photos courtesy BJC HealthCare Alton Memorial Hospital.

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