By Kyle Jillson | March 25 2013 13:31

Tackling the task of showing your gratitude at an NRA match

NRA's Tori Croft holds up her thank you gifts from the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships

Columbus, Georgia - A secret mission was carried out two weeks ago during the 2013 NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships.

Tori Croft, NRA's National Manager of Collegiate and School Programs, had worked tirelessly to ensure the championships ran smoothly. Without her, the tournament wouldn't have happened.

The shooters felt Croft needed to be thanked for her work. But any old thank you wouldn't do. It had to be big and it had to be a surprise.

As shooters found a free minute or two during the championships they assembled for team photos with a big "Thank You," making sure to duck out of Croft's sight. A giant card also made its way around the competitors, with each writing their own personal words of thanks. It was no easy task to do under the nose of Croft who, as match director, was constantly bustling between the ranges.

Before the even began championships, Croft had been hard at work tallying sectionals scores to determine who would qualify for an invitation. She also poured over scores and academic records to put together this year's NRA All-American Pistol teams.

It was a lot of work, but worth it for someone who loves the shooting sports as much as Croft.

Once the photos were taken, the card signed and before the secret was no longer secret, Croft's gift was presented to a standing ovation during the championships' awards ceremony.

"This is unbelievable," Croft said as she choked up tears of happiness. "Thank you all so much."

After the experience Croft had created that week, it was the least they could do.

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