25 February 2008

15th Annual Central Ohio Friends of NRA Fundraiser This Saturday

Just a final reminder that the 15th Annual Central Ohio Friends of NRA dinner and auction will be held this coming Saturday, March 1 at the Villa Milano banquet center, 1630 Schrock Road, in Columbus.

We are expecting upwards of 400 people to attend this family event, which will feature a silent auction, as well as live auction of collectible paintings, sculptures, and firearms. Cost is $40 per person for the buffet dinner. The "Big Shooter" Package at $225 includes dinner for two, commemorative NRA Foundation hats, a commemorative Friends of NRA Teddy Roosevelt sponsor sculpture, and $160 in raffle tickets. There are some dinner tickets still available. Doors open at 4 pm, with dinner served at 5:30 pm. For tickets, contact Pam Sheets at 740/379-9225.

The Central Ohio event is one of more than 20 such fundraising dinners and auctions held throughout the Buckeye State. Last year, COFNRA raised more than $24,000. All net proceeds benefit The NRA Foundation, with half allocated to fund projects within Ohio. The NRA Foundation uses the other half to fund similar projects with a national scope. Friends of NRA committee volunteers are appointed to a State Fund Committee and make recommendations for local grant funding. To date, The NRA Foundation has funded more than 15,000 state fund grants for a total of $100 million, including but not limited to: community safety, youth firearms safety and education programs such as 4-H shooting sports; Youth Education Summit (YES) scholarships; hunter education; Boy Scouts; FFA; Ohio State shooting teams; range development and improvement; support materials for training classes; women's safety classes; Women On Target; and wildlife conservation efforts.

For many years, Peoples Rights Organization has received grants for Eddie Eagle GunSafe youth safety teaching materials, which are distributed free, in bulk, to police departments throughout Ohio. In addition, state funds have gone to purchase Refuse To Be A Victim personal safety teaching materials for use in free community crime avoidance classes. So you see, the worthwhile projects funded by these regional dinners are many.

I sat on the State Fund Committee a couple different years. You can't believe how many incredibly worthwhile projects are proposed, and need help with funding. In many cases, there were tough decisions to make choosing either between granting a larger sum to one group, and leaving the other out, or splitting funds between two or three equally worthwhile programs. As I recall, in both the years I was asked to participate on the Committee, we distributed grants to to more than 30 organizations funding 50 or better projects.

For my friends and readers in Central Ohio, I hope to see you at the Columbus event on Saturday. For my new friends and readers outside of the region, please support FNRA events near you. It is well worth the effort and your time. If the future of youth safety, marksmanship, responsibility, leadership, range development and training is important to you, you will never make a better investment.

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