Shooters Enjoy Southern Hospitality While Raising $37,000 For First Shots
“The best ever!” “What a great range!” “We’re having a blast!” “More fun than I’m authorized!”
These are just a few of the many superlatives shooting enthusiasts greeted each other with during this year’s record-setting Shooting Industry Masters. Held in the heart of Kentucky, the smiles, bragging rights and camaraderie were all wrapped in generous amounts of Southern hospitality.
The Masters, owned and operated by FMG Publications, was held for the ninth time July 22-23 at Park Mammoth Resort’s Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, Ky. This year’s competition drew a record-setting 370 participants, representing 83 teams from 71 companies and organizations from throughout the industry. They included shooters of every level of experience, from professional competitors to newcomers.
The objective of the Masters is to provide an opportunity for those in the industry to have fun shooting, while supporting NSSF’s First Shots program.
“If you’re not having fun today, you’re just not trying,” said FMG’s Randy Molde, match chairman, during the pre-event briefing.
Two days and 90,000-plus rounds later, a sea of smiling shooters confirmed that fun was not in short supply. Ten side matches provided added trigger time and even more fun.
“We had nearly 500 people each day participating in the event, with competitors and volunteers combined,” Molde said. “It was exciting to see so many folks who are used to sitting behind desks all day out enjoying the sport they help make better. We’re thankful they chose to spend the weekend with us to support First Shots.”
Building The Industry’s Future
This year, Masters participants opened their wallets to the tune of $37,000 — all designated for First Shots — as they bought raffle tickets for chances to win an impressive number of premium prizes from a wide array of sponsor-donated products.
Attendees also bid on other prizes during a live auction held in conjunction with an outdoor barbecue and awards ceremony on the final evening of the Masters. In addition, $5,177 was raised during an exclusive online auction at GunBroker.com.
During the past three Masters events, FMG Publications has raised $94,000 for First Shots.
“FMG Publications deserves, and has, our sincere thanks and appreciation for their outstanding support of this important and successful program to introduce new shooters to our sports,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president. “This year’s Masters events were well thought out, the side matches were most enjoyable, and the logistics of such a massive operation seemed to go very well. Once again, all the credit goes to FMG, who has done and do so very much for our industry.”
FMG also raised $5,200 for USA Shooting through a live auction and the unique Rent-A-Ringer program. Through the program, teams “rented” a USA Shooting Team member to enhance their team’s shooting success, and to support the organization that represents the U.S. around the word and at the Olympics.
“A big thank you goes out to FMG for its tremendous support of the USA Shooting Team. With the 2012 Olympics fast approaching, FMG’s support is extremely timely, and will help our athletes in the final stages of preparation for London,” said Buddy DuVall, USA Shooting Team Foundation executive director.
Ron Buschmann, owner of Shooter’s Supply & Law Enforcement Equipment “rented” USA Shooting Team members Sean McLelland and Jake Turner.
“While Sean and Jake were definitely outstanding coaches, they were also wonderful teammates,” Buschmann said. “We are all proud the USA Shooting Team has these two young men representing our country.”
USA Shooting Team members also volunteered their time to assist with the Masters First Shots clinic for beginning shooters, held on the first morning of the match. The new shooters who attended the clinic went to the Masters shooting stages and side matches with enthusiastic anticipation, rather than the trepidation many first-time shooters experience.
This year’s Masters was the first for the new manager of NSSF’s First Shots program, Tisma Juett.
“I have found in the short time I have been in the industry that people are committed to the new shooter — and this proves it! The exposure, awareness and funds provided to First Shots through the Masters are incredible, and I assure you, I will not let your efforts go to waste,” Juett said.
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