When we find ourselves fallen on tough times, it is easy to see who is there to stand by our side. Fair weather friends may be there during the good times, but when the tide turns, a true friend will always be there no matter how tough times may get. Now more than ever, while the world has found itself in arguably the toughest time in a decade, the Friends of NRA program has proved to be comprised of those friends we all need.
Friends of NRA events are all about fun, food, firearms, fundraising, and fellowship. Making up the backbone of Friends of NRA are the thousands of passionate volunteers, or friends, in every state and from all walks of life who donate their time and efforts every year to fundraise for the future of our firearm traditions.
In the thick of COVID-19 state shutdowns during early 2020, those volunteers and their NRA Field Representatives found their Friends of NRA events were caught in the mayhem. Thousands of banquets and special events were already on the calendar, all of which had to be examined under a close scope to follow each state’s formal order mandates.
Eastern Virginia volunteers found themselves hit among the hardest. With numerous events scheduled throughout summer and fall of 2020, these Friends of NRA stood together and found new event dates, new venues, new caterers, and created new event regulations according to state guidelines. Because of their efforts, every single event that was previously scheduled happened.
“There were many areas of the state that were locked down completely, and having an in-person event was not possible. But for those areas where events were held, our volunteers dug deeper, and worked harder to find ways to make them happen,” said David Wells, Eastern Virginia Field Representative.
Standing next to those volunteers, those Friends of NRA, were the attendees who ventured outside their homes to support the cause. “There were a couple events that broke attendance records,” noted David. “Most of our events boasted funds raised equal to, and in some cases higher than previous year events with higher attendance.” One of those events was Southside Friends of NRA, originally set for early September 2020. The event was postponed and later scheduled for November 7, which brought the highest net raised since inception of the committee.
“We discovered what we already suspected,” said David. “Our attendees were ready to get out and support our program. The overall attitude of those attendees, those friends, were excited and proud to continue supporting the good work of our mission and program.
The dedication, determination, and resilience demonstrated by Friends of NRA volunteers and attendees during the program’s toughest year to date proved nothing short of inspiring. The Friends of NRA program would not be successful without its friends, those dedicated to securing the future of shooting sports and furthering firearm education.
Fundraising in 2020 was downright tough, and Friends of NRA still faces many of those same challenges in 2021. To witness the unwavering support from our volunteers and attendees solidifies that our mission and our cause are true and worth fighting for. It is safe to say, Friends of NRA has some of the best friends anyone could ask for.