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Volunteers of the Week: Gary and Pat Graef

Volunteers of the Week: Gary and Pat Graef

This week we recognize Chairman Gary Graef and Treasurer Pat Graef, both volunteers of nine years with the Greater Fort Meyers and Charlotte Harbor, Southern Florida Friends of NRA.

Gary and Pat collectively helped to sell over 500 banquet tickets bringing in more than $48,500, sold nine sponsorships totaling $71,250, raised $1,350 in pre and post-event raffles and acquired over 80 donations valuing over $20,000.

“Gary and Pat are the most active volunteers I have,” said NRA Field Representative Tom Knight. “Aside from conducting two banquets themselves, they also attended and helped out at nine other banquets in 2016.”

From working games, assisting with the silent auctions, and the cashiers table, Gary and Pat have no problem lending a helping hand where needed.

“They’re the first one’s to arrive and one of the last to leave,” said Knight.

Gary and Pat also dedicate their time to Knight when it comes to operating his annual volunteer workshop!

“They secure the location, prepare the food, and set-up,” shares Knight. “Gary lines up and hosts a shooting activity for all of the volunteers that come in the day as well.”

This power team doesn’t stop there. They are also extremely involved with the State Fund Committee and grant process. Pat has dedicated her time to preparing several grants over the years for local organizations such as 4-H and the Charlotte and Lee County High School JROTC programs. She’s also served as the State Fund Chairman for the past three years. Gary spends his time contacting and visiting with local groups explaining the grant process and helps with submissions for those interested in applying for a grant.

Gary and Pat are the most active volunteers I have.Gary and Pat naturally enjoy offering their time and assistance wherever needed. The Friends program is certainly one of them yet not the only one. For the past 14 years, they’ve been heavily involved with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association where handicapped children can learn to ride horses and enjoy the outdoors in a safe and controlled environment.

Pat is also the president of her National Trade Industry Association (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) where she’s served on the board for many years. Gary also spends one Saturday a month donating his time to introduce and train new people into his field of work of farriering.

Dedication. Selflessness. Passion. A few yet strong words to describe this giving couple who have a heart to helping others in their community and a strong will to help preserve the future of the shooting sports.

Click here to find out how you can volunteer with your local Friends of NRA chapter!

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