The Robertson men, known for their scruffy beards and homegrown Louisiana wisdom, regularly make public appearances across the country. Chris Mikle is a deacon at Rainbow City Church of Christ and a member of the coordinating committee that helped book Robertson. Mikle said the group started planning the event back in November and tickets for the speeches went on sale at the end of April.
“Wallace Hall can hold about 2,400 people. We sold out tickets within an hour,” said Mikle. “I knew there was a high demand, but did not realize it would be that big.”
Mikle said Martin’s Family Clothing has pre-sold 150 tickets for the autograph session at their store. Ohatchee Church of Christ, Sparks Orthopedics and Osborn Transportation are additional sponsors for the event. All proceeds of the speech ticket sales and a portion of the autograph session ticket sales will go to Rainbow of Hope, a recovery home in Gadsden that offers transitional housing, mentoring and job assistance to women.
“We are hoping to pass around some containers at the speaking event for people to give donations as well,” Mikle said.
Phil Robertson was a star high-school athlete and spent several years as a teacher before launching his Duck Commander duck call empire in the early 1970s. With the help of his wife, four sons and their wives and children, the family business has exploded into a million dollar corporation. In addition to manufacturing duck calls and filming their popular television series, the bearded brothers promote everything from hunting gear to cooking DVDs.
Phil Robertson is an elder at his church in Louisiana and is often invited to church events to speak about his beliefs.
“We hope he will speak about sharing his faith and his overall experience as Duck Commander,” said Mikle. “We are really excited about this event. It’s a big deal for a celebrity like him to come to this area.”