By Danielle Sturgis | November 10 2009 09:15

Special thanks to Steve Hoback of the NRA's Education and Training division for the following write-up:

Centreville, Virginia - On Saturday, November 7, NRA Staff members joined other shooters for the inaugural “Pull for Our Heroes” Trap Tournament. The event was hosted by the Arlington/Fairfax Chapter, Inc. of the Izaak Walton League in Centreville, VA, and presented by Starkey Laboratories, Inc. Staff from NRA Headquarters got together to form two shooting teams.

NRA 1 consisted of Mike Krei, Director of Competitions; Bill Poole, Director of Education and Training; Samantha Olsen, Education and Training; Don “The Silver Fox” Sipes, National Coach Trainer (Shotgun); and Kristin Stoner, Office of Advancement. Team 2 consisted of: Barry Ranney, Gary Dent and Don Zimmer, Information Services, and Beth Epley, Manager of Competitive Shooting, and her husband, Sean Epley.

The tournament was a 100-target event. Should all go well, there would be fifty shots fired before lunch and fifty handicap targets to go after once the Izaak Walton League provided feast was served. NRA Teams 1 and 2 took came in second and third respectively. But the accomplishments didn't stop there.

Don Sipes and Samantha Olsen performed well. They shot so well, in fact, that they ended up in first place in their respective classification. Awards were presented to the classification winners in singles, as well as high overall men’s, women’s and overall handicap and “Top Gun.”

“I was honored to be there to support the Patriot’s Path Foundation," Ranney said. "If there's a better reason to go out and shoot clay targets please let me know, because I can’t think of one.”

Mike Krei, Director of Competitions, said, “We had a great time this weekend, and we'll definitely have another team next year.”

All monies raised in conjunction with the event benefit the Veterans who are clients of the Patriot’s Path Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency created specifically to prepare veterans for, and to assist them in, dealing with the challenges of daily life that will confront them after treatment for mental health related issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness or substance abuse. The Foundation was started by a group of concerned veterans who recognized how significant these life challenges can be for veterans when they have completed treatment and are facing reintegration into the community.

The aim of the Patriot’s Path Foundation’s is to help recovering veterans successfully re-enter everyday life by providing them individual mentors; safe, affordable transitional housing; help in finding employment; financial planning education; educational assistance; and the basic life skills they need to stay “on the path” to a new way of life.

The Staff of The Patriot’s Path Foundation would like to express their sincere thanks to all who helped make the event a success and, more importantly, help our Veterans who have given so much and are trying to move forward in their lives. Thanks go out to the Members of IWL Arlington/Fairfax Chapter, Inc., and their shotgun director, Bob Brino, Starkey Laboratories, all the participants and everyone who helped make the day a success and a great start to the Veteran’s Day week.

Shotgun donated to the cause of Patriot's Path at NRA CLay event


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