Hosting 400 participants, the NRA Foundation Banquet at the Great American Outdoor Show (GAOS) Sat., Feb. 6, set both an attendance record and a new fundraising record. The event, which was sponsored by Henry Repeating Arms and co-sponsored by Century Arms, generated approximately $100,000 in support for the shooting sports, our hunting heritage and the Second Amendment.
From left, Ashley Weaver and NRA Executive Director of NRA General Operations Kyle Weaver; NRA Director of Volunteer Fundraising Sarah Engeset.
Highlights of the festivities included raffles and auctions in which attendees could bid on or win firearms, hunts, knives, ammunition, clothing, art and more, proceeds of which are earmarked to benefit youth and women’s firearm education programs, hunter services, wildlife conservation, marksmanship training and gun safety classes throughout the country.
“We are really excited about the attendance this year, and I think it being 2016 certainly plays a role in that,” said Sarah Engeset, NRA’s director of volunteer fundraising. “Being an election year, our issues are out in the public eye a little more, so people seem to be very energized.” she said. This year also marks the first time that the NRA Foundation’s GAOS banquet has sold out all of its tickets, a trend that event organizers hope will continue throughout the year at local Friends of NRA activities across the nation.
Henry Repeating Arms paid recognition to three “unsung constituencies” during the banquet—NRA instructors, first responders and the armed forces—by presenting Tribute Edition rifles to five deserving members from these groups (see top image). Recipients, who were Pennsylvania residents, included: NRA Instructors Bob Sproesser of Berks County, and Sharon Gregg of Cumberland County; EMT Paul Means of Gordonville; Sheriff C.J. Walters of Bradford County; and Glenn Umberger, Jr., captain in the Army Reserve and State Commander of the Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars. Henry Repeating Arms Spokesman Dan Clayton-Luce declared the night a resounding success and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to supporting the NRA.
“The National Rifle Association remains the strongest voice in our country for protecting and maintaining the rights of upstanding citizens, so it is with great pride that we continue to show our support at every opportunity,” he said. “The NRA has been our ally from the very beginning, and Henry Repeating Arms will stand behind them every step of the way as they continue to promote and protect the shooting sports.”
The NRA Great American Outdoor Show runs through Feb. 14, 2016 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa. For more information, visit greatamericanoutdoorshow.org.