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The Leslie E. Tassell Avicultural Foundation

The Foundation was established in October, 2000, with a generous donation from Mr. Leslie E. Tassell, a retired businessman from Grand Rapids, Michigan. At their annual meeting, the Board of Directors approved a motion that only the interest from the fund be used for projects such as protecting endangered species, establishing breeding centers, legislative issues, or other avicultural projects. A committee was appointed to oversee the fund. Members of the committee were Bernie Jager, chairman; Bev Ure, Lloyd Ure, and Don Bruning. Bernie Jager continues as chairman of the APWS committee overseeing the Leslie E. Tassell Avicultural Foundation. Other members of the committee are: Don Bruning, Edmund Newton, Bill Branch, and Don Steurer.

Mr. Tassell was born February 2, 1908, in London, England. At the age of 6, his family moved to Canada. As a young man, he moved to Grand Rapids and soon owned a tool and dye company. Mr. Tassell loved animals and had zebras, camels, donkeys, and his favorite peafowl until the day he died - March 19, 2004, at the age of 96.

Because of the generosity of Mr. Tassell, APWS has been able to fund these projects:

  • 2016   Grants were made to the Future of Waterfowl Conservation Workshop held at Sylvan Heights Bird Park in North Carolina and to Nick Tiberio to study the incubation temperature of Wood Ducks

  • 2015   Grants were made to Destry Potter for internship at the Toledo Zoo and Aviornis International VZW, a Belgian Avicultural group for a study of the pheasants of the world

  • 2014 - $700.00 grant to fund Destry Potter's internship at the Toledo Zoo.
  • 2013 - $500.00 grants were made to Pinola Preserve and the Livingston Ripley Conservancy to sponsor avicultural interns.
  • 2012- A $500.00 grant was made to Pinola Preserve to sponsor interns, young people who would be work with the curator and learn about caring for various birds.
    A $750.00 grant was made to the Livingston Ripley Conservancy to sponsor interns to work with the waterfowl under the Director of the Livingston Ripley Conservancy.
  • 2011 - A $500.00 grant was made to St. Thomas the Apostle Blessed Teresa‚Äôs Garden, a classroom project to teach young people the joys of gardening and sharing their produce with the less fortunate.
  • 2010 - A $500.00 grant was made to Holly Herdman who worked at LRWC and who will attend Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, NC. A $500.00 grant was made to the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy for two interns.
  • 2009 - A $500.00 grant was sent to the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy to sponsor two interns. A $500.00 grant was made to the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservatory to help with the construction of the Sea Duck Facility. This is an excellent place to train young people in aviculture.
  • 2008 - $1000.00 grant was made to Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco-Center for a matching fund to operate the Park.
  • 2007 - A $500.00 was made to Tom Condon for his research on Galliform Indian Red Junglefowl in the vicinity of northeast India and Nepal with emphasis on the genetic status of wild birds, regarding the level of feral and domestic influence.
  • 2006 - A $500.00 grant was made to Krissy Bush to continue her genetic work with Sage Grouse and Sharp-tailed Grouse.
  • 2005 - A $500.00 grant was made to Sylvan Heights Waterfowl to help cover costs of the waterfowl internship program. A $500.00 grant was made to the Sylvan Heights Eco-Center at Scotland Neck, North Carolina, which opened in 2006.
  • 2004 - A $400.00 grant was made to Matt Scarr for his trip to India to study the Tragopan Pheasants in the wild.
  • 2003 - A $1000.00 grant was made to the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo) to cover the costs of radio transmitters to track Peacock Pheasants which were reintroduced to their habitat in Malaysia.
  • 2002 - A $1000.00 grant was sent to Jeffrey J. Thompson to study Tinamou in South America. A $500.00 grant was sent to Krissy Bush to study the Sage Grouse in southeastern Alberta, Canada.
  • 2001 - A $500.00 grant was sent to Wetlands International to help fund the work being done by Emmanuel Williams to study the West African Crown Crane in West Africa.

Since 2000, the Leslie E. Tassell Avicultural Foundation has awarded more than $11,000.00 in scholarships and grants. A small or large donation to the Leslie E. Tassell Avicultural Foundation will help insure the freedom of aviculture for those interested in conservation, propagation, and raising endangered species in captivity. This can be done through research and the education of our young people. We hope individuals, local, and state clubs will join us in this endeavor.

Together we can make a difference.

Make checks payable to:

Leslie E. Tassell Avicultural Foundation

Mail to:

APWS Leslie E. Tassell Avicultural Foundation
Bernie Jager, APWS Tassell Foundation Chair
11610 92nd Avenue
Allendale, MI 49401-7511


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American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society Youth Support Program

Could the Youth of Today be the Aviculturists of Tomorrow?

The answer is yes! So take a young person under your wing and show them the world of aviculture. The APWS Youth Support Program offers assistance to young people 16 years old and younger who are interested in raising pheasants and/ waterfowl. This assistance may be monetary, or it may include help in locating birds, constructing pens, offering advice on how to raise the birds, etc.

For more information, please contact:

APWS Youth Support Program
Don Steurer
3519 Koressel Road
Evansville, IN 47720
(812) 423-9040
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The Charles Sivelle Scholarship/Grant Program

Bruce Bergbom proposed a scholarship program and agreed to work up a proposal to present to the APWS Board in 1989. Bruce announced information about the American Pheasant and Waterfowl Scholarship/Grant Program in the January-February, 1992, issue of the APWS Magazine. The program was open to all individuals interested in pursuing studies in avicultural or a closely related biological field. The amount of the scholarship/grant is decided yearly by the Board of Directors and is based on available funds. Funds for the scholarships and grants are raised by participation in the annual mail raffle, donations to the annual scholarship auction held during the convention, and donations by members. The first scholarships for students were awarded in 1992. The name of the program was changed to the Charles Sivelle Scholarship/Grant Program in 1994.

Following is a list of scholarship/grand recipients:

  • 2017 Jay A.VonBank and Matt Sim
  • 2015 No applications
  • 2014 Samantha Bucco and Thomas Martin 
  • 2013 Thomas Martin and Rebecca Saucerman
  • 2012 Michele Goodman
  • 2011 No applications
  • 2010 Edward Hanlon, Rebecca Saucerman, and Holly Herdman
  • 2009 Ian Gereg
  • 2007 Krissy Bush and Ashleigh Brauer
  • 2006 No applications
  • 2005 No applications
  • 2004 Clayton Botkin
  • 2003 Krista Bush and Ian Gereg
  • 2002 Heather Gates, Jeffrey Thomson, and Ian Gereg
  • 2001 Nicole Newton
  • 2000 Andrew Tanner and Ian Gereg
  • 1999 Brian Shamblin and a grant to the Torrent Duck Project
  • 1998 Brian Shamblin and Brent Lubbock
  • 1992 James Bland, Eric Lovell, Rebecca Rogers, and Jeff Sailer

For more information on the scholarship/grant program please contact:
Cathy Goss, Scholarship Committee Chair, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
August 1st, 2018 is the application deadline