Top Friends of NRA committee's chairman visits NRA headquarters from the last frontier

Denny Hamann and his wife Lori at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia

Who is Denny Hamann? The chairman of the Alaska State Friends of NRA, Denny Hamann is one of the most dedicated Friends of NRA volunteers in the country. You could even say he's eaten, breathed, and slept NRA for the past several years.

Hailing from Wasilla, Alaska, Hamann is a pivotal piece of the puzzle for the Alaska State committee and Alaska Friends of NRA as a whole. And 'pivotal' really does justice considering how well he helped his committee in 2011.

This year the Alaska State Friends of NRA were recipients of the Most Outstanding Friends of NRA Committee Award, an honor granted to the committee who raised the most funds at a single Friends of NRA event. This was the first time Alaska State received the award and Hamann, who proudly accepted the award at the NRA Board Meetings last week, has high hopes they'll receive it again.

Nicole McMahon, our Senior Event Services Coordinator at NRA, was able to pull Hamann aside for a few minutes when he was in town and got to ask him a few questions about his history with the committee.

Read about what makes Friends of NRA's Denny Hamann tick below...


Official USMC photo by Staff Sgt. G. S. Thomas
NRA Youth Programs Program Coordinator Samantha Olsen was recently contacted by Jeff Nass in Wisconsin regarding the 9th Annual Armed Forces Camps. It sounded like such a great event that we asked if he could send us more on the event ... here's what we received:

The 9th Annual Armed Forces Camps were again a great success for the Marine Recruits (Poolee’s) here in Wisconsin. Every signed recruit in the 9th Marine Corps District is offered the chance to participate in the program. This year, 419 Poolees signed up. Since its inception in 2004, almost 4,000 recruits have made their way through the Camps.

To begin the day, recruits receive an updated classroom program on firearms safety, sight alignment, trigger control, nomenclature, and basic operation of the M16 type rifle. They then make their way to the range, load and fire 25 rounds of 5.56 x 45 ammunition.

More on Wisconsin's Armed Forces Camps

 NRA Region Volunteers of the Year Scott Hamann

We're going to wrap up our highlights of the 2011 Friends of NRA Region Volunteers of the Year with the Western Region's Scott Hamann.

The six region's volunteers are selected by committee of senior NRA staff from the pool of Field Rep-selected Area volunteers. These individuals, invaluable to the NRA, were invited to this year's National NRA Foundation Banquet at Annual Meeting as honorable guests and to receive their awards. Everyone was able to make it except Scott, who was in Hawaii with his wife celebrating their anniversary -- poor Scott.

Far from Hawaii, Scott can normally be found in Kenai, Alaska, where he is the current chairman of the Kenai/Soldotna Friends of NRA committee. The committee is relatively new, starting in 2003, and drew a cool 137 attendees to its first banquet and raised over $11,000.

Growing steadily, the committee featured 150 guests this past year and gathered an impressive $70,000 for the NRA Foundation. Scott himself raised over $98,000 during the 2011 banquet season from a combination of banquet tickets sold, sponsorships, underwriting, and donations. The Kenai/Soldotna committee has done pretty well for itself, seeing a total of 1,280 attendees raising $348,844 in just nine short years.

When Scott’s event sold out at 150 seats and, being held at the city's largest event center, couldn't possibly accommodate anyone else, Scott simply said “Let’s do two nights.” The second night sold extremely well and when was all was said and done the committee generated over $100,000. He is also chair of his State Fund Committee and attends and helps out at no less than four other Friends of NRA events around the state.

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Online registration is now open for the 2012 National Matches at Camp Perry

Online registration is now open for the 2012 National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, where thousands of shooters will compete for the title of National Champion. The National Matches are broken down into four different phases: Pistol, Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle and Long Range High Power Rifle.

Through online entry, you can enter the various competitions individually. Once you have completed one entry, you will be given the option to enter a different match. Each competition can only be entered once per shooter.

To enter the NRA/M1A Springfield match, please use the NRA High Power Rifle Championship option.

We at NRAblog look forward to seeing you at Camp Perry this summer! If you can't join us, you can follow along with daily updates and photos right here on NRAblog.

Jeremie and Stephanie Wallace are NRA Southern Region Volunteers of the Year

Our next spotlight on this year's Region Volunteers of the Year is a twofer. Jeremie and Stephanie Wallace, together, are the 2011 Southern Region recipients.

A select committee of senior NRA staff choose the Region volunteers from the pool of Field Rep-selected Area volunteers. To call attention to their exception service, the Region Volunteers of the Year were brought up on stage during the National NRA Foundation Banquet at this year's Annual Meeting and were recognized as honored guests.

Jeremie & Stephanie Wallace call Valdosta, Georgia, home and are the current chairman and treasurer, respectively, of the Valdosta Area Friends of NRA committee. With only five years of service these two are relatively new members of the Friends of NRA family, but they've made quite the impact in their short time.

The Wallaces raised over $43,000 for their committee in the 2011 banquet season, a number that includes banquet tickets sold, sponsorships, underwriting, and donations. Formed in 1996, the Valdosta Area Friends of NRA committee hosted 63 attendees at its inaugural banquet, raising about $3,000. By 2011 both of those numbers had leaped considerably, with the committee sporting 158 attendees and over $22,000 raised at its 2011 banquet. All in all the Valdosta Area Friends of NRA have had 2,085 attendees to its 16 banquets and has raised $174,195 for NRA programs.

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Continuing with our highlights of this year's Region Volunteer of the Year award winners, we bring you the Eastern Region's Diane March.

Friends of NRA's Region Volunteers of the year are chosen by a select committee of senior NRA staff from the pool of Field Rep-selected Area Volunteers of the Year. These exceptional volunteers for Friends of NRA were invited to the NRA Annual Meeting as honored guests where they received special recognition at the National NRA Foundation Banquet.

Diane March is a resident of Wappinger Falls, NY, serving as co-chairman of the Mid Hudson Friends of NRA committee. Approaching its twenty year anniversary, the committee's inception in 1994 saw an impressive 432 attendees at its first banquet, raising over $12,000. Since then, there have been 9,964 attendees at their events who have helped raise a cumulative $1.18 million. Diane raised over $50,000 for the 2011 banquet season alone through tickets sold, sponsorships, underwriting, and donations.

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Friends of NRA Volunteer of the Year Gail Bussell

Next up on highlighting this year's Region Volunteer of the Year award winners is Gail Bussell from the Mid West Region.

Region Volunteers of the year are chosen by a select select committee of senior NRA staff from the pool of Area Volunteers of the Year - nominated by their Field Representatives. These exceptional volunteers for Friends of NRA were invited to the NRA Annual Meeting as honored guests where they received special recognition at the National NRA Foundation Banquet.

Gail Bussell, who lives in Oklahoma City, has eight years of service with the Heartland Friends of NRA committee and currently sits as chairwoman. Founded in 1996, the Heartland Friends of NRA committee started out with 178 attendees at their first banquet who raised nearly $6,000.

Her committee's banquets have grown considerably in the past 16 years, swelling to 550 attendees in 2011 and raising nearly $110,000 for the NRA Foundation. A total of 5,365 people have come out to their Friends of NRA events and the committee is closing in on half a million raised, sitting at $489,377.

Like the other Region Volunteers of the Year, Gail was chosen for her exceptional contributions to Friends of NRA. Last year Gail was a real trooper, attending 14 of the 26 banquets held in Oklahoma. She helped set up and work 10 of those banquets and solicited donations for six of them. Gail led her committee in getting sponsorships, tallying eight with Blaser - out of 95 available nationally - for $5,000 each.

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Friends of NRA Volunteer of the Year Brian Mrnak

Back in March, Friends of NRA announced the recipients of their Volunteer of the Year awards.

From the pool of Area Volunteers of the Year, who are nominated by their Field Representatives, Region Volunteers of the Year are chosen by a select committee of senior NRA staff. These exceptional volunteers were invited to the NRA Annual Meeting as honored guests where they received special recognition at the National NRA Foundation Banquet.

NRAblog is going to highlight the six Region Volunteer of the Year recipients starting with the Central Region's Brian Mrnak.

Hailing from Ashland, Wisconsin, Brian Mrnak is the current co-chairman and FFL of the the Chequamegon Bay Area Friends of NRA committee. Created in 2008, Brian was there from the start when the committee's first banquet had just 45 attendees and raised over $2,000. In just four short years, that number has grown quite a bit. The 2011 banquet season saw 129 friends of the NRA show up, raising over $32,000.

Brian does so much more for the Second Amendment than just help put on Friends of NRA banquets. Despite Ashland, Wisconin’s isolated location on the the shores of Lake Superior, Brian displays and runs raffles year-round at all gun shows within 50 miles. He also received his Range Technical Team Adviser training in 2009 and acts as the main contact for all the gun clubs in his area.

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NRA volunteers donate skills and time to restore firearms


This week in 2010, we spoke with a volunteer about the benefits of working for the National Firearms Museum. Here it is again for this weekend's NRAblog Rewind:
Fairfax, Virginia - Occasionally the NRA National Firearms Museum finds talented – and willing – volunteers. Volunteer John, pictured above, is typically on site every Tuesday, assisting Senior Curators Phil Schreier and Doug Wicklund and Museum Director Jim Supica with tasks large and small.

John told NRAblog he enjoys every minute of his time at the Museum.

“It’s a real thrill,” he said. “Often the only time a gun enthusiast would see some of these firearms is a picture or maybe a display. To handle them, and help sometimes to clean them – you’re holding history in your hands.”

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