By Danielle Sturgis | April 2 2009 10:32

The Nutmeg Friends of NRA committee knows what they’re doing. Last year, the Connecticut event was the number-one attended Friends of NRA event in the nation with 900 attendees.

This year, NRA Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson was asked to serve as guest speaker at the 2009 event, held this past weekend.

NRA Field Representative Rich D’Alauro says the group has a great chance of claiming number one status again. “We’re looking at a head count of 1,070,” he told NRAblog.

D’Alauro has been an NRA Field Representative for the past 18 years. As to what makes any event a success, D’Alauro says, “It’s all about networking.” D’Alauro is quick to credit volunteer Ray Hanley, who has chaired the Nutmeg Friends committee since its inception in 1992.

“Ray is a super volunteer,” D’Alauro said. “Not only does he do the Friends of NRA, he’s also an NRA-certified firearm instructor and a hunter education instructor.”

“I don’t now where the man gets the hours in the day,” D’Alauro said. In addition to chairing the Nutmeg committee – no small feat, considering the banquet has surpassed the $1 million mark – Hanley finds the time to assist with several other committees in Connecticut.

“Having someone chair a committee for that long is rare,” NRA Field Operations Director Kyle Weaver said. “It’s not just Ray; there is a whole group of dedicated volunteers who keep bringing their expertise to that committee. It makes all the difference, especially in a smaller state like Connecticut.”

The funds raised by Friends of NRA committees across the great state of Connecticut have granted more than $500,000 statewide for the future of shooting programs.

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