St. Louis, Missouri - The National NRA Foundation Banquet & Auction, sponsored by Cabela's and Leupold, was the last event held Thursday before the 141st NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits officially begin this morning.
Raffle, dinner, speakers, auction, last night had all the aspects of a Friends of NRA banquet, except this one was much larger. More than 1,500 attendees were seated in the Edward Jones Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams, to celebrate the all the great things NRA has done, and hopes to continue doing, for the Second Amendment.
In addition to this year's standard Friends of NRA items, the banquet featured opportunities to win exclusive firearms, merchandise and hunting trips. A hunting rifle signed by Ed Weatherby and an African safari for Cape Buffalo were just two of the special items made available last night.
Before dinner, President Keene welcomed the crowd to St. Louis and spoke of the attendance record NRA set last time it was in town for its convention. New record numbers are expected to come out this year and Keene joked a proposal that NRA would continue coming back for Annual Meetings as long as a new attendance record was set each time - a fair trade.
Among the other speakers were Excutive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and Executive Director of NRA General Operations Kayne Robinson.
Like all Friends of NRA banquets, the crowd donations made in each of last night's events will go on to have a direct impact on the future of the shooting sports.
Without the supporters showing up for the NRA's cause, not just at this event here in St. Louis, but all events put on by the NRA across the country, none of this would be possible.