It’s still Sweet for foundation chairman
After 21 years of heading up what’s possibly the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s most-active chapter, Terry Sweet has no intentions, thank you, of stepping aside.
“Oh, hey, I’m still having fun and enjoying myself immensely,” said the outgoing Grand Junction chiropractor and life-long elk enthusiast. “Sometimes it’s lots of long hours of hard work, but it’s exciting and the people are what makes it all worthwhile.”
Sweet has watched the Grand Junction chapter bloom from its start in 1989, only five years after the elk foundation was founded in 1984, to become one of the nation’s top money-raising chapters.
A list of the chapter’s nation-leading honors is listed elsewhere on this page, but chief among those honors is the more than $2.16 million the chapter has raised for elk and elk-habitat conservation work.
Sweet said he never considered hanging around this long and if he could, he might have escaped several years ago.
“I originally was going to quit after the first million (dollars) but then they went and hired my son,” Sweet said. “Once they did that, I figured I was committed and might as well stick around.”
Troy Sweet is one of the elk foundation’s two state regional directors in Colorado. Part of his responsibilities is overseeing the state’s 30-some chapters.
Terry Sweet said he’s a bit puzzled about why the Grand Junction chapter has risen to the top of the nation’s 550 or so elk foundation chapters, many of them in much larger cities.
“I really don’t know, other than this community has really gotten behind us from the beginning,” he said. “We try to make the annual banquet a fun night for the whole family and I think it shows how successful we’ve been in the support we get from the community.”
Sweet has enjoyed the chapter’s success but constantly deflects any attention or praise coming his way.
“This is not a one-man show, it’s much too big for that,” he said. “I give all the credit to my hard-working committee, it’s just phenomenal, I can’t say enough about our committee.”
Local elk foundation committee member Jerry Norton calls Sweet “as dedicated an outdoorsman and conservationist as I can imagine.”
Sweet heard that and, after pausing for a moment, continued.
“I don’t do this for Terry Sweet,” he said. “Look, this is a well-run organization and there are plenty of elk right now for you and I. What I’m really interested in is my grandkids and their kids having places to go hunt and enjoy the outdoors.
“If I can have a hand in that, then I’ll consider all my work a success.”