The Friends Group

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Arizona

Our Mission Statement:

“As a non-profit organization, Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges are committed to the conservation and protection of these jewels of the lower Colorado River. We pledge to support and assist Refuge staff's efforts to improve and maintain these unique resources, provide environmental education opportunities, and promote hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental-interpretive uses of these refuges.​”

Our Friends group began forming in the late Fall of 2011. What began as a small group of Birding Enthusiasts, Hunters, Kayakers, Photographers, Fishermen, and Boaters volunteering to support events organized by Refuge Staff soon blossomed into a desire to form a Friends group to provide even more support and assistance to the Refuges and Refuge Staff. 

We applied for and received status as a Corporation in the State of Arizona on April 17, 2012. We received approval of our application for status as a Section 501(c)3 non-profit organization from the IRS on October 22, 2012. On March 14, 2013 we signed an Associative Agreement with the Lake Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Complex, making us an official Friends group.

We are now giving our full attention to increasing our membership rolls, expanding our wildlife education outreach to youth and community groups, raising funds for Refuge projects, and continuing our efforts to assist Refuge staff with volunteer labor on Refuge projects. We are also looking to add several new Friends events in the upcoming year. Please join us in our efforts, we need your help and talents.

General Meetings

We normally meet during the second week of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Golden Shores Fire Station, located at 12950 Oatman Highway, Route 66, in Golden Shores, Arizona. Please be sure to check our Calendar page to verify the meeting day, time, and place. We occasionally schedule meetings to coincide with an event or other activity at one of the Refuges, and we may schedule special meetings at other locales. Please check the Events page for the latest information.

Why do we hold many of our General Meetings in Golden Shores? The three largest communities in Mohave County are Bullhead City, Kingman, and Lake Havasu City. Golden Shores is centrally located to the three largest cities in Mohave County (Golden Shores is approximately 27 miles from Bullhead City, 54 miles from Kingman, and 34 miles from Lake Havasu City). In addition, the Golden Shores Fire Department generously provides the venue for our meetings, make this meeting location the logical choice.


Photo: The Friend's original Board of Directors looks on as DeeDee DeLorenzo, Friend's President, and Dick Gilbert, Lake Havasu NWR Complex Manager (now retired), sign an Associative Agreement, making us an official Friends group. Standing L-R John Williams, Tom Daugherty, Jennifer Rose, Marge Penton, Chad Villamor. 


Board of Directors 2020


Jude Gilford, Vice President

Karin Shelton, Treasurer

Marge Penton, Secretary

Jacky Daugherty, Membership Committee

Chad Villamor, Director

JoAnn Fischetti, Director

Neal Ayres, Director

Tom Daugherty, Director

Board of Directors 2019


DeeDee DeLorenzo, President (Deceased)

Jude Gilford, Vice President

Karin Shelton, Treasurer

Marge Penton, Secretary

Sue Wolfe, Director at Large

Chad Villamor, Director at Large

JoAnn Fischetti, Director at Large

Jacky Daugherty, Director at Large

Tom Daugherty, Director at Large