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Local Visitor Center garners honor from state association

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Friends of NRA Annual Banquet Sept. 7

SoVaNow.com / August 07, 2013
Organizers are putting the final touches on this year’s Southside Friends of NRA (National Rifle Association) 2013 Annual Banquet that has been slated for Saturday, Sept. 7, and will be held at the Arrowhead Gun Club in Victoria. Funds raised from the event will be utilized for local, state and national efforts that support youth education, firearm safety and training programs, hunter safety, marksmanship training, range development and improvements, conservation projects and other qualifying educational efforts.

The Southside Friends of NRA Chapter was recently recognized as the “Highest Net Event in the State of Virginia in 2012” with a special plaque presented to the committee by David Wells, NRA’s senior field representative. Over 260 supporters of the Friends of NRA gathered last year on September 8, 2012, for the Southside Chapter’s annual fundraising banquet. The sold-out event raised a record-setting $38,000, all of which will be utilized for local, state and national programs as listed above.

“We are fortunate to have the kind of community support we enjoy here in Southside Virginia; and for our local event to be more successful than those held in places like Richmond, Virginia Beach and Roanoke says a lot about the cause and the hard work of our very dedicated committee,” said John Lee, who chairs the committee for the local event. Lee added, “We never take that for granted and strive to put on the very best banquet possible.” Last year’s event ranked as one of the most successful Friends of NRA fundraisers in the state, and organizers are confident that this year’s event will again rank high, or perhaps top of the list.

Well over $1 million dollars raised by the Friends of NRA have been returned to youth education programs and activities here in the state of Virginia including over $500,000 to 4H programs, over $113,000 to the Boy Scouts of America, and over $140,000 to state schools, FFA programs and youth conservation clubs. Among the area programs that have benefitted from dollars raised by this event are the Freeland 4H shooting team, consisting of youth from Mecklenburg, Lunenburg and Charlotte Counties, and youth shooting programs held at Arrowhead Gun Club.

The Southside Friends of NRA 2013 banquet is being co-chaired this year by John Lee and Stuart Bayne and staged by a committee of area citizens interested in the shooting sports and concerned about its their future. ”The great thing about the Friends of NRA organization is that the money we raise is being used to fund programs in our own communities,” commented Lee. “It’s pleasing to know that we are providing opportunities for the next generation to know and enjoy the shooting sports, and to do so safely, and with an appropriate respect for firearms.”

A limited number of tickets are available for the event which has sold out in each of the past two years. A single ticket is $40, and a ticket for a couple is $75. The ticket entitles the holder to a delicious prime rib dinner with all the fixings and eligibility in a door prize drawing for a Heritage Rough Rider .22 magnum revolver with the NRA logo on the wood grips. The evening’s festivities will also include a silent auction, a live auction, a drawing for items on the special ladies table and a number of raffles over the course of the evening featuring high quality sculptures, decoys, furniture items, knives, prints, hunting and outdoor equipment and accessories, and personal items.

Additionally, well over 20 firearms will be featured in raffles and auctions including, among others, the NRA “Gun of the Year” which is a special edition Weatherby .270 Vanguard Eurosport, a Sig Sauer MK25 .9mm pistol, a Kel-Tec KSG 2000 shotgun, a Taurus Ultra Lite .38 revolver, a Rio Grande 45-70 Lever Action, and a Diamondback .300 Blackout AR.

Several sponsorship levels and options are also available for the event to both interested individuals and businesses. Tickets can be purchased from a committee member listed below or by going to the Friends of NRA website (http://www.friendsofnra.org/va):

John Lee 434-372-6111

Stuart Bayne 434-210-0888

Scott McLaughlin 434-210-2562

David Bigger 434-738-5943

Paul Crump 434-736-8682

Frank Ashworth 434-696-2922

Frank Myers 804-370-2337

Dean Foster 434-735-8533

Funds granted by The NRA Foundation benefit a variety of constituencies throughout the United States including children, youth, women, individuals with physical disabilities, gun collectors, law enforcement officers, hunters and competitive shooters. The Friends of NRA fund-raising program was established in October 1992 to raise funds in support of this mission. True to the tradition of the original town meetings, and organized by community volunteers from every walk of life, Friends of NRA events provide participants an opportunity to support the charitable goals of The NRA Foundation and enjoy the camaraderie of other law-abiding gun owners.


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