Nearly 200 from Moffat County turned out Saturday to support a popular cause for the area.
The Yampa Valley Friends of NRA Banquet took place at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig on Saturday night, with something for every member of the family. Friends of NRA is a national charitable organization that raises money to support shooting sports locally and nationally.
The Yampa Valley banquet was in its 18th year and typically has been well supported. The 2013 edition was no exception, with just more than 190 ticket sales for dinner, with drawings and auctions also raising money. All in all, the event netted almost $40,000, it’s best number in the 18 years it has been in Craig, according to Friends of NRA.
“We’re all very excited,” said Andy Bullen, a banquet committee member. “Half of that will come back to town here for scholarships and improvements. It’s very cool.”
Yampa Valley Friends of NRA especially likes to support the local youth shooting groups, such as the 4-H rifle, archery and shotgun teams, with its grant money. With that in mind, the 4-H sharpshooters were presented with a new rifle at the banquet, and 10 of them were given memberships to the NRA, an annual award for their hard work.
“As far as I’m concerned, the kids 4-H shooting team is what we’re all about,” Bullen said.
There was a silent auction, live auction and bucket drawings with a wide variety of items available. In addition to several rifles, pistols and firearm-related items, there was a children’s bike, a fiddle signed by Charlie Daniels and a pet feeding station, to name a few.
But the event was tailored toward the children in attendance, as well. There were several fundraising games, including an “elk poo” guessing game, in which contestants guess the number of pieces of chocolate candy — or elk poop — in a bag, with the closest guess winning money, and the worst guess winning the candy.
It was another banner year for the Yampa Valley group in representing Friends of NRA, which, according to the organization’s website, “boils down to one goal — fundraising for the future of shooting sports.”
“I’m involved in this because I’m a gun person,” Bullen said. “It’s nice to see so many other people show up and say ‘We believe in what you’re doing and we support what you’re doing.’”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.