“Once Eddie Eagle comes out, the girl in the crown no longer matters! The kids LOVE Eddie Eagle.” Miss Lakes of the Northwest Mason Magouyrk jokes. Following two firearm related deaths in her community, Mason decided it was time to educate both the children and adults of Batesville, AR about the importance of gun safety and the proper handling of firearms. In the four years since Mason started volunteering with the Eddie Eagle GunSafe program she has reached over 2,000 children in Arkansas. “As a contestant in the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant, I promote my platform, Armed with Awareness: Aware that Guns are There throughout the state of Arkansas.” Mason explains. After winning her first Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant preliminary in November of 2011 in Blytheville, AR she partnered with Chief Ross Thompson of the Blytheville Police Department in the hopes of getting an Eddie Eagle mascot costume. The Blytheville Chickasaw Shooting Association graciously donated the needed funding for the costume to allow Mason and the Blytheville Police Department to leave a lasting impression on children with Eddie’s Gunsafe message.
Mason also advocates for the Eddie Eagle program beyond classroom presentations. She has written many letters to the editors in local newspapers and advertised in her hometown football program about the steps to teach your children on how to be GunSafe. “The Batesville and Blytheville communities have not only donated funds so I may continue educating children about gun safety, but these communities have also entrusted me with teaching their children how to behave around firearms.” Mason reflects on the response she has received.
The Eddie Eagle Program relies heavily on its national grassroots network of volunteers, like Mason, to promote and teach the program in their communities. “I truly believe this program is the most valid gun safety program out there." With the help of these volunteers and more than 26,000 schools, law enforcement agencies, and civic organizations, Eddie Eagle’s important safety message has reached over 28 million children.
The Eddie Eagle staff commend Mason’s passion for the program. “I truly believe this program is the most valid gun safety program out there. No matter what your political stance is on citizens with firearms, each side truly wants one thing: to feel safe. Educating children and adults on the proper use of firearms is the first step to creating safe homes across America.” She states.
To become a volunteer for your club or community you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 231-0752. Grant funding, provided by Friends of NRA though The NRA Foundation, is available nationwide for law enforcement agencies, schools, hospitals, daycares and libraries to receive program materials, including the new DVD, free of charge. For more information check out our website www.eddieeagle.nra.org.