Who were the top volunteers in Friends of NRA's record-breaking 2013 season

2013 Friends of NRA Volunteers of the Year being honored at the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis

Fairfax, Virginia – The National Rifle Association is pleased to announce their 2013 Friends of NRA Volunteer of the Year recipients, recognizing outstanding efforts for the grassroots fundraising program at the local and regional levels.

Area Volunteers of the Year, selected by NRA Field Representatives, were evaluated on a number of criteria including banquet tickets sold, underwriting received and years of service. Recipients were awarded a ‘2013 Friends of NRA Volunteer of the Year’ jacket along with special recognition from their NRA Field Representative.

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Lend a hand to one of the 1,100 Friends of NRA banquets being held next year

Fairfax, Virginia - Volunteers are the backbone of Friends of NRA. Thanks to the thousands of men and women who donate their time each year, Friends of NRA continues to shatter fundraising records year after year and can increase its support of the shooting sports.

With only two events left in the 2013 Friends of NRA season, it's time to start thinking about next year... which is right around the corner. If you've volunteered in the past and had a great time, or are interested in helping out for the first time, we're looking for people who are all about fun, food, firearms, fundraising.

Signing up to volunteer is easy! You can do it online, from the comfort of your home, right here on the Friends of NRA website.

If you've ever been to a Friends of NRA event, you know our volunteers are some of the most dedicated, hard-working, and enthusiastic people in America. From selling banquet tickets to hanging flyers, working games or seeking sponsorships and donations, volunteers tackle every task with the knowledge that they are helping secure our Second Amendment freedoms for generations to come.

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Reno, Nevada's John Madden is Friends of NRA's Western Region Volunteer of the Year

John Madden named Friends of NRA Volunteer of the Year

Fairfax, Virginia - Our last Friends of NRA Volunteer of the Year comes to us from out west; Nevada to be specific. Sporting nearly two decades of work with Friends of NRA, John Madden of Reno, Nevada is the 2012 Western Region Volunteer of the Year.

Madden, who currently serves on both the Reno/Sparks and Modesto Friends of NRA committees, raised more than $190,000 over the course of last year's banquet season. But his involvement with the shooting sports goes well beyond underwriting, selling banquet tickets and soliciting sponsorships and donations. John spends as many weekends as possible promoting Friends of NRA at area gun shows. In 2012 he attended 18 throughout Nevada and California.

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Gary and Pat Graef of North Fort Myers, Florida are the Friends of NRA Southern Region Volunteers of the Year

Friends of NRA Southern Region Volunteers of the Year Gary and Pat Graef

Fairfax, Virginia - This year's Friends of NRA Southern Region Volunteer of the Year is actually a twofer. Husband and wife duo Gary and Pat Graef of North Fort Myers, Florida are an inseparable pair who have earned the award together thanks to their tireless work for Friends of NRA and the future of the shooting sports.

Continuing the theme of twos, the Graefs serve as acting chairman and treasurer on both the Charlotte Harbor Friends of NRA and Greater Fort Myers Area Friends of NRA committees. In 2012 the team raised more than $58,500 through banquet tickets sales, sponsorships, underwriting, and donations.

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Patty Cattoor of Colorado is the Friends of NRA Mid West Region Volunteer of the Year

Friends of NRA Volunteer of the Year Patty Cattoor

Fairfax, Virginia - Mrs. Cattoor calls Delta, Colorado home, where she serves as treasurer of the Black Canyon Friends of NRA committee and chairwoman of the Colorado State Friends of NRA committee. Volunteering her time for 17 years, Patty recently raised more than $75,000 last year between her banquet tickets sold, sponsorships, underwriting, and donations.

Started in 1996, the Black Canyon Friends of NRA is one of our smaller, but still critical, committees. Over their 17 year history 2,450 attendees have passed through their doors, raising nearly a quarter of a million dollars for the shooting sports. The Colorado State Friends of NRA committee, started in 2012, is the baby of the family. With only one event to their name, they have brought in $17,000 between the 160 attendees at last year's banquet.

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NRA Volunteer Spreads the Life-Saving Message of the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program

Gene Johnson playing Buffalo Bill and spreading the Eddie Eagle message at Frontier Day Colorado Springs, Colorado - NRA Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. We have professional shooters who teach basic shooting, retired collectors who work at the museum and concerned citizens like Gene Johnson who spread the word about the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program ... and he does so in a very unique manner.

Dressed as Buffalo Bill Cody, Mr. Johnson attends events like Territory Days in Old Colorado City to pass out Eddie Eagle materials to families in attendance. Here's more from this year's Territory Days:

An estimated attendance of 150,000 turned out for the annual Memorial Day 2013 event in Colorado Springs. Gene Johnson gave three performances as Colonel William F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody and distributed over 900 NRA Eddie Eagle ‘Parents Guide to Gun Safety’, as well as over a thousand Eddie Eagle Coloring Books and Comic Books to parents and their kids. ... more on Buffalo Bill spreading the word of Eddie Eagle ...

Tim Heuiser is Friends of NRA's Central Region Volunteer of the Year

Friends of NRA Eastern Region Volunteer of the Year Tim Heuiser

Fairfax, Virginia - Following Friends of NRA's Eastern Region Volunteer of the Year William Shank, the 2012 Central Region recipient is Missouri's Tim Heuiser.

Heuiser, who resides in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, has been a member of the South East Missouri Friends of NRA committee since it started in 1993 and has been an officer for 19 of those 20 years. Between banquet tickets sold, sponsorships, underwriting and donations, he raised over $67,000 during last year's banquet season banquet season.

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William Shank is Friends of NRA's Eastern Region Volunteer of the Year

Friends of NRA Eastern Region Volunteer of the Year William Shank

Fairfax, Virginia - Receiving a Friends of NRA Area Volunteer of the Year award is a great honor among the thousands of people who lend their time to the grassroots fundraising organization. Even greater still is to be named a Region Volunteer of the Year. These individuals are chosen from the pool of Area recipients by senior NRA staff for their exceptional contributions - a best of the best if you will.

NRAblog will be highlighting the winners from the five Friends of NRA regions - Eastern, Central, Mid West, Southern, Western - beginning with the Eastern region's William Shank.

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2012's top Friends of NRA volunteers recognized for outstanding service

Friends of NRA Volunteers of the Year at the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting in Houston

Fairfax, Virginia - The success of the Friends of NRA grassroots fundraising program rests entirely on its volunteers. Each year thousands of dedicated individuals across the country volunteer their time - for free - to help raise money for the future of the shooting sports at Friends of NRA banquets and auctions.

The National Rifle Association is proud of every single one of these individuals, but it also recognizes those that go above and beyond their duties to preserve our shooting heritage.

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