By Dave Holder
In what could be called the perfect quid-pro-quo arrangement, the Cumberland County Clay Crusher shooting team continues to cultivate its close ties with the Friends of NRA – a 501(c)3 grass-roots fund-raising program of the NRA Foundation.
The Friends of NRA fosters community involvement in all the shooting sports and shooting education programs while giving 100 percent of the net proceeds back to the community where those funds were generated.
Since the inception of the Cumberland County Scholastic Clay Target program (SCTP) in 2004, the clay crusher team members, parents, the Fairfield Glade Sportsman Club and the local shooting sports enthusiasts have held an Friends of NRA banquet here in Cumberland County to generate funds in support of all of the shooting sports in Tennessee.
In 2004, banquet chairman John Ewing was informed that a new, fledgling shooting club, which his close friends Mark Filley and Kim Chamberlin had just founded and received approval for from the Cumberland County board of education, could request funds to help get that program off and running.
A foundation grant was applied for and $2,500 was granted to the program from the Tennessee Friends of NRA. Although the Fairfield Glade Sportsman Club had already stepped up to support this team as its home shooting grounds, it is difficult to overestimate the value of that initial funding at the program's inception.
Even though the Clay Crushers have gone on to establish a strong booster program to additionally support their team, the Friends of NRA continues to support their every step of the way, with contributions totaling almost $30,000. It is important to note that the Friends of NRA is not meant to be the sole funding entity for any shooting program. Its primary mission is to help bring your shooting program into existence and then complement and additionally support your own fund-raising efforts to assure your programs viability plus initiate new programs.
Last February at the Tennessee Friends of NRA state funding committee meeting in Nashville, the Clay Crusher team was awarded $6,100 to help defray program costs. That funding amount was the seventh largest grant out of the 90 funded requests. Although the local banquet ranked only 16th in net revenue out of 23 fund-raising banquets in Tennessee, the Friends of NRA state committee has recognized the loyalty over the last 10 years in continuing to hold a banquet here in Cumberland County.
Just as those fund-raising banquets prior to 2004 helped bring the program into being, the continuation of the local banquet will help fund new programs with new shooters.
The 10th annual Friends of NRA banquet will again be held at the Cumberland County fairgrounds June 7 at 5:30 p.m. Join the Clay Crusher family to support the SCTP and even more importantly support the Second Amendment rights and the constitutional freedoms.