Friends of NRA Banquet back in Moffat County

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If you go

What: Yampa Valley Friends of NRA Banquet

When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Boys & Girls Club of Craig, 1324 U.S. Highway 40

Silent auction, drawings and games begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner starts at 7 p.m., followed by a live auction.

A major support system for the young, talented shooters in Moffat County returns to Craig on Saturday in what has become a Craig tradition.

The Yampa Valley Friends of NRA Banquet will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig — its 18th straight year here. Featuring live and silent auctions, along with a dinner and educational sessions, the banquet will look to build on its prior success of giving back to the community.

Friends of NRA is a nonprofit organization that raises money to fund the future of shooting sports. Half of the money raised at each banquet across the country goes toward projects in the state where the money was raised, while the other half goes toward similar projects with a more national outlook, according to the Friends of NRA website.

In Moffat County, where the youth 4-H shooting sports especially have been successful throughout the years, that has been a major place for grant money from Friends of NRA banquets to go, Andy Bullen said.

“Over the years, Friends of NRA have supported various 4-H shooting sports programs,” Bullen said. “We have scholarships available to local students and have given close to $40,000 in scholarships over (the) life of the banquet in Craig. We also fund range improvements and educational efforts, stuff like that.”

The banquet will feature a silent auction with a wide variety of items donated by local businesses, as well as a live auction with firearms and other items available after a dinner catered by the Tin Cup Grill.

Moffat County always has supported the banquet generously, Bullen said.

“We’ve netted over $30,000 each of the past few years,” he said.

Ray Beck was instrumental in the first Friends of NRA Banquet in Craig 18 years ago and sees it as a worthy event for anyone to attend.

“We’re supporting the NRA (National Rifle Association) but also supporting our community,” Beck said. “It’s a great opportunity for individuals and families to help raise money and a portion of that money goes back to NRA for education and research.”

The real key to the event is it will go toward Moffat County youths, Bullen said.

“It’s not about politics. It’s really about supporting local kids more than anything,” he said. “The kids are the future, and we do what we can to make sure it’s going to be a good future.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.

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