Friends of the NRA Banquet and Auction Thursday

Published 1:36 am Sunday, September 24, 2006

This time of year is always exciting to sportsmen and women with hunting season just around the corner. Many folks are planting their food plots, setting up stands and plotting out the seasons trips in hope of harvesting some of what Mississippi offers. We are blessed to have the opportunity to get out and hunt on vast numbers of public acres and one of the most recognizable organizations that are at the fore front of the fight to keep it that way is the National Rifle Association. The NRA has a long and history of fighting for the right to bear arms and one of the main goals of the NRA is teaching proper shooting and gun safety.

Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according to a magazine editorial written by Church.

After being granted a charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. Senator, became the fledgling NRA’s first president. Since that day the organization has increased unmatched by many other pro hunter organizations and the Friends of the NRA local banquets and auctions are just one way that you can show your support.

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Friends of NRA is an exciting grassroots fund-raising program that fosters community involvement, raises money and gives 100% of the net proceeds to qualified local, state and national programs. Thanks to dedicated individuals across America, Friends of NRA is making a difference. Working with NRA’s Field Staff, thousands of volunteers nationwide are participating in the program by organizing committees and planning events in their communities.

The format is simple-food, fun, family and fund-raising. Whether you are a hunter, competitive shooter or just a proud gun owner, Friends of NRA events have something of interest for the entire family. Events include dinner followed by exciting auctions and special drawings for unique and collectible merchandise.

Attendees bid on items from the standard Friends of NRA merchandise package, as well as special products and services donated to specific events by local businesses and community members. Friends of NRA merchandise includes very desirable limited edition firearms, wildlife art from popular artists, jewelry, and shooting sports, hunting and outdoor equipment. Events offer every participant an opportunity to take home valuable merchandise and enjoyable memories.

All net proceeds benefit The NRA Foundation, with half allocated to fund projects within the state where the money was raised. 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 3,400 state fund grants for a total of $8.6 million, including but not limited to: youth firearms safety and education programs; hunter education; range development and improvement; support materials for training classes; women’s safety classes; and wildlife conservation efforts.

The upcoming banquet will be held at the K.C. Banquet hall directly behind Dockside Seafood. With the food being supplied by Dockside it is assured to be worth the price of admission.

This is the second year for the Picayune event and I had the pleasure of auctioning the first event, and am looking forward to a great night this year.

Dick Kingsafer, is the Filed Representative for South Mississippi and Louisiana. Dick and his local representative, Bill Martin, along with many other volunteers have done a great job in planning this years banquet. The fun will begin at 6pm this Thursday night at the K.C. hall behind Dockside so please make your plans to join me and support your local NRA event.

For tickets and information contact Bill Martin at 601-798-8364 or e-mail him at I hope to see you there and as always, get outdoors and enjoy what God has given us.