Third Quarter 2009Have you been to a Friends of NRA event, or been the recipient of a Friends of NRA grant? We want your stories!

Submit stories and photos to Amber Niblock-Shorter at aniblock-shorter@nrahq.org by Friday, January 29, 2010. Be sure to visit the magazine's newly designed website to view previous quarters of Traditions magazines.

From Traditions magazine:

Third Quarter 2009It’s safe to say the Southeast Missouri (SEMO) committee has a history with Friends of NRA. Though chartered in 1993 when the Friends of NRA program was just beginning, they are hardly stuck in the past when it comes to their fundraising approach. Instead, 17 banquets later, the SEMO Friends of NRA are still going strong and consider their extensive experience as merely good grounding for putting on a great event.

Back when the now-distinguished committee was getting started, the NRA Field Representative at the time was invited to speak about the new program. The informational meeting was attended by an astounding 90 people, made up of local gun enthusiasts, Poplar Bluff Gun Club members, and local gun shop regulars. From that fortunate day, the SEMO Friends of NRA committee emerged and began its long-standing tradition of raising money for The NRA Foundation. More

AMT Donates $10,000 to Kodiak Friends of NRA

From Traditions magazine:

At the Kodiak Crab Festival last May, Alaska Friends of NRA made friends with Tim Baker, Vice President and Robert “Bobby” Bonestroo, Operations Manager of Apollo Medi Trans. Tim introduced himself to the Kodiak Friends of NRA Committee Chairman Dave King and was immediately sold on the program when he discovered Alaska Friends of NRA feels the way he does about giving future generations the same traditions, heritages, and freedoms he had when he was growing up.

Tim and Bobby were invited and attended the Kodiak Friends of NRA banquet that weekend and had a fantastic time. While enjoying the atmosphere that exists at an Alaskan Friends of NRA banquet, they found out the Friends of NRA program works tirelessly to promote the shooting sports in Alaska and nationwide, giving back all proceeds in grants that go to the future of the shooting sports. “Steve Smith, who owns Alaska Guns and Ammo, taught us how crucially important it is to support programs like Friends of NRA,” Tim said. “Friends of NRA is something important to us and we are really excited about it.”

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Teacher's Day at the Range

From Traditions magazine:

The thought of a Teacher’s Day at the Range may sound far-fetched to some, and even when the Citizens Range and Recreation Club of Central, NJ, (CRRC) received a grant from The NRA Foundation to follow through with plans to “Educate Educators” with a “Teacher’s Day at the Range” they too were surprised at the overwhelming positive response they received.

After all, it’s teachers, who through their own passionate pursuit of knowledge, stress a love for learning to their students including times when it may take them somewhat outside their comfort zone. Thus, some 70 elementary, middle, high school, and collegiate-level teachers from over 24 different school districts, became the students for a day.

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Thanks to Nicole McMahon for sharing the following piece, which was written by Amber Niblock-Shorter and appears in the current issue of Traditions magazine:

Against All Odds: Allen Parish

Small, rural, low number of NRA members, and a weak local economy: sounds like a potential site for a successful Friends of NRA committee, right? While Allen Parish in Louisiana can be described as any of the previously mentioned descriptors when it comes to building a Friends of NRA committee, there is something to be said for persevering against the odds.

In late 2008, Kenny Blackwell contacted Senior Field Representative Dick Kingsafer about starting a Friends of NRA committee in Allen Parish, an area located in central Louisiana forest and nursery country with a population of about 26,000 and a total of only 200 NRA members. Blackwell had volunteered on a Friends of NRA committee in Arkansas before moving to Louisiana and sought to start a committee in Oakdale, the largest community within Allen Parish that contains only about 8,200 people.

“I believe very strongly in the Second Amendment and what the NRA is doing,” said Blackwell. “When I moved to Allen Parish nothing was going on and the people weren’t traveling to the surrounding areas to attend banquets. I just saw a need to have a banquet to locally support the NRA.”

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Thanks to Amber Niblock-Shorter for sharing the following with NRAblog:

Seventeen years ago, Southern Regional Director Al Hammond was the Florida Field Representative in charge of starting the Florida Friends of NRA program. To help him create awareness about the new program, he enlisted one man’s help as a volunteer – Bud Fisher. With a keen knowledge of the state of Florida and Fisher’s help, Hammond built the program from the ground up and made it into what it is today. Florida is the second highest fund raising state in the Southern Region and ranks in the top ten nationally in terms of the number of banquets held per year.

Hammond relied on Fisher’s leadership background in the United State’s Navy and his strong commitment to the principles of the NRA to help him lead and guide volunteers in starting new Friends of NRA programs all across the state. As a Navy pilot, Fisher was stationed in several places across the world, from Iceland to Italy, before becoming a Primary Flight Instructor in Pensacola, Fla. In 1975, he retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander and possessed all the skills needed to aid Hammond. More

Thanks to Amber Niblock-Shorter of NRA Field Operations for sharing an exclusive interview she conducted with Jason Evans, Senior Product Manager with Benelli USA. The piece appears in the current issue of Traditions. Read on to learn about Benelli USA's relationship with Friends of NRA, their commitment to the Second Amendment, and what’s on the horizon for their company.

Amber: Can you give me some background on your company and how Benelli’s relationship began with the National Rifle Association?

Jason: Benelli USA is predominantly a shotgun company which Imports/Markets Benelli, Franchi, Stoeger, Uberti, and Stoeger Air. What makes the company unique is the Inertia Driven™ operating system on our semi-automatic shotguns. We offer this high-tech simplicity at three distinctly featured and priced levels in our Benelli, Franchi and Stoeger shotgun lines. Inertia Driven™ actions are the most reliable, simplest to maintain and most durable actions in production; earning the reputation of being named “Simply Perfect.”

From the start, Benelli USA has worked to support the NRA. Our company is very young when compared to some of the industry giants, but we’re very aware of the key role the NRA plays in protecting the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. Benelli USA understands the long term, strategic importance of conservation groups and organizations. With that in mind, Benelli USA’s executive management created an internal structure to support these organizations. Fortunately for us, Laurie Kayser and I were tasked to manage these special accounts – we feel privileged to be a part of their teams and both of us are committed to help support these organizations.

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Friends of NRA

Wisconsin Field Representative Scott Taetsch wrote the following article. Thanks to Nicole McMahon for sharing it with us: 

Superior Range Shooters Club Receives Grants

Located in the scenic Black River Valley Parkway in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and in the shadow of Copper Peak, the only ski-flying hill in North America, sits the new Superior Range Shooters Club.

Because of generous grants through The NRA Foundation and strong support by the Big Snow Country Friends of NRA, in its ten short years, the Superior Range Shooters Club has grown to now offer rifle, pistol and shotgun shooting sports to the general public. It is fast becoming the premier shooting facility in the area. In 2007, the club received a $7,700 grant from the Wisconsin State Fund Committee in order to build proper safety and impact berms. Because of these improvements, the club was now able to begin 4-H shooting programs and host NRA Shooting Sports Camps for the general public.

Because the range was intentionally built in a remote location, miles from any public water and sewer services, all that were available for bathroom facilities were portable units. With the huge increase of usage by women and children, more improvements were needed if the programs were to continue to grow.

In 2009, the club received an additional $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin State Fund Committee to install a well, septic system and indoor bathroom facilities on the property. This project is the first phase of an indoor educational classroom facility and allows the club to further expand to include programs such as the NRA’s Women On Target and other introductory level educational shooting programs.

“We would like to thank The NRA Foundation and specifically all of the patrons and supporters of the Friends of NRA events for the continued support of the Superior Range Shooters Club. Your funding has helped our club to grow and expand much faster than we could have ever done with local support alone,” said Gary Kusz, President of the Superior Range Shooters Club.

The extended version of this article will be in the upcoming Traditions - Quarter 4 magazine coming out in January. Visit www.friendsofnra.org for archived Traditions magazines and news from The NRA Foundation and Friends of NRA.

The latest issue of Traditions magazine is Traditions Magazineonline!

If you enjoy reading about NRA Grants in Action here at NRAblog, we encourage you to check out the stories of Traditions.

Traditions is The NRA Foundation’s quarterly publication, designed to inform readers about the successful mission of the foundation to promote and expand our shooting sports traditions. Our mission with this publication is to bring you – our supporters, volunteers, and grant recipients – information about The NRA Foundation and the success of our efforts.

Why Traditions? Because that is what The NRA Foundation is all about. Our hunting traditions, our shooting sports traditions, the tradition of freedom that our forefathers secured for us and have passed on through the generations.

There are many ways to ensure tradition. The NRA Foundation ensures it through education. That’s what Traditions is all about.

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