Our old friend Anthony Colandro from New Jersey’s Gun For Hire sent us the an recap on his record setting New Jersey Friends of NRA dinner.
On a damp, rainy night in September, the Essex County Friends of the NRA huddled together at the beautiful Mayfair Farms in picturesque West Orange and proceeded to break records! This was the first ever FNRA dinner for one of the most anti-gun counties in New Jersey. With the help of the committee, sponsors, volunteers, and the amazing number of attendees, we set upon the task of showing the crowd what they have been missing in New Jersey.
Three hundred and seventy-one people attended on that damp, rainy night. This was a record number of attendees for New Jersey. We also have the distinction of being the first High Caliber FNRA dinner in the state. As a High Caliber committee, we have available to us a different level of items to offer at our next dinner in the spring of 2011. Only twenty-five percent of all FNRA dinners across the nation qualify for High Caliber status and we are now the first in New Jersey.
During this journey, we were guided by our NRA Field Rep Brian Swartz, who at various times energized us, kept us in check, and downright scared us. But with his knowledge and experience, he made it all come together in the end.
Each year, the NRA Foundation allocates half of all net proceeds to fund projects within the state in which the money was raised and uses the other half to fund similar projects with a national scope.
Committee volunteers are appointed to State Fund Committees to make recommendations for local grants in areas such as youth firearm safety and education programs, hunter education, range development and improvement, women’s training seminars, and wildlife conservation efforts. Recognizing that America's young people represent the future of the shooting sports, the State Fund Committee grants are frequently given to youth programs, allocating more than fifty percent of grant monies to this important area. This means that half of the monies we raised that damp, rainy night stays in New Jersey to benefit our shooting programs.
A total of thirteen firearms were auctioned off. Along with great food, great people, and a feeling of patriotism, it was a combination that’s hard to beat. But I hope that you will join us next year where we intend to push the envelope further and offer more prizes than this year.
None of the evening’s accomplishments would have been possible without the combined efforts of Gun For Hire, The Bullet Hole, and our countless volunteers. I cannot begin to express to you my delight or to tell you how proud I am of my team. I know that without them I would not have the privilege of sharing our story in this report.