Nicole McMahon from NRA Field Operations sent us the following recap on the NRA Annual Meeting's Foundation Banquet.
At the 2009 Annual Meetings in Phoenix, AZ, the NRA Foundation hosted their annual events, the National NRA Foundation Banquet and Sportsmen's Auction.
On Thursday, May 14th, the National NRA Foundation Banquet encompassed a western atmosphere where attendees were greeted by a rodeo-type welcome sign and red lanterns with horseshoe centerpieces on each table. Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, General Operations Executive Director Kayne Robinson, and Dick Heller from the D.C. v. Heller case were some of the notable figures in attendance.
One of the highlights of the Foundation Banquet was the auctioning of "A Tribute to the Governor" Sarah Palin rifle, which sold for $11,000. Another highlight was the addition of a new feature to this year's schedule: the Friends of NRA Volunteers of the Year Award. The Friends of NRA Volunteers of the Year Award recognizes those volunteers who made an outstanding impact on the program at the local or regional levels during the previous year. Those who were recognized at the banquet were the Region Volunteers, Dale Emerick from the Eastern Region, Brent Weil from the Central, Rick Cook from the Mid West, Dick Withers from the Southern and Brian Peters from the Western Region.
The National NRA Foundation Banquet was sponsored by LifeLock and Midway USA. During the Banquet, the president and CEO of Midway USA, Larry Potterfield, made a $1 Million pledge to a special endowment that will support the competitions division for national championship shooting events for years to come.
The Sportsmen's Auction on Friday, May 15th, had a different atmosphere, which catered specifically to the hunting enthusiast. Attendees could find unique hunting and outdoor gear, along with exclusive firearms and exotic hunts. Both the Sportsmen's Auction and the National NRA Foundation Banquet sold out and raised over $215,000 combined. All proceeds from the auctions directly benefit the NRA Foundation in supporting the mission to promote firearms and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills of those participating in the shooting sports, and to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological, and artistic context.