Hundreds turned out at this year’s Kisatchie Friends of NRA banquet, all for a good cause.
The funds raised at this year’s banquet will go to the Webster Parish 4-H outdoor skills and shooting sports program. Phillip Krouse, chairman of the event, said money from the last four years has gone to 4-H’s shooting range, which is almost complete.
“There’s two different grants 4-H will apply for,” he said. “One will be for the merchandise they need, such as shotgun shells, skeets, things of that nature, they need to compete, and the rest will be divided up at the range to finish developing it.”
The Webster Parish 4-H Shooting Sports program was just awarded $13,114 to fund improvements and shooting sports equipment. Just this week, 4-H Agent Beth Clark said the concrete for a covered shooting shed at the range was poured and set.
“We are very excited about the range improvements and equipment provided by the grants,” she said, “and pleased that the NRA is making an investment in our community.”
Webster Parish has about 150 youth participating in the shooting sports program, according to figures from the NRA Foundation, with another average of 150 in Claiborne Parish. Nearly 6,000 youth are involved in the program statewide. Krouse said with the high number of those involved, the organization’s priority is gun safety.
“It’s all for the children,” he said. “It’s about the shooting sports, but it’s also about teaching them gun safety. It teaches them a lot of things their parents might not have time to teach them.”
The first 4-H shooting sports event took place in 2000 and continues to grow. Shooting sports is the fastest growing 4-H program area in Louisiana and the United States. The program provides an opportunity for youth to develop life skills, self-worth and conservation ethics through interaction with many caring adults.
The Friends of NRA, a part of the NRA Foundation, is celebrating 25 years this year, with its first banquet and fundraiser held in Columbia, Missouri in 1992. Last year, the fundraiser in Minden raised about $21,000, Krouse said. To date, nationally, the organization has raised about $743 million.
The National Rifle Association was established in 1871 and is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Five million members strong, the NRA continues its mission to uphold second amendment rights and is the leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.
The NRA Foundation was established in 1990 to raise tax-deductible funds to support a wide range of firearm-related public interest activities of the NRA and other organizations that defend and foster the second amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans.