“Guns For Great Causes,” a charitable effort from Henry Repeating Arms, is offering a limited run of custom “Prayers for Preslie” lever-action rifles. Proceeds from their sale go to a Michigan family to help ease the financial burden as their 3-year-old daughter battles leukemia. Henry donated 65 of its Golden Boy Silver models chambered in .22 S/L/LR for the effort, and Baron Engraving, of Trumbull, CT, added engraving and hand-painted details for free. Each rifle in the series is marked with a unique serial number ranging from “PRESLIE01” to “PRESLIE65.”
In April of this year, while the pandemic swept across the globe, Preslie Mantsch was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The news was delivered over the phone to her father, Thomas Mantsch, who was waiting in the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital parking lot, unable to be in the same room as his daughter and Preslie’s mother due to COVID-19 restrictions. Thomas is a frontline healthcare worker and first responder in his town’s ambulance and fire department. Preslie is currently undergoing treatment in Milwaukee, WI, four and a half hours away from home, four to five days a week, and she still has two years of treatment left.
Thomas says of his daughter, “Preslie is a magical, kind-hearted, wonderful, smart, and caring little girl. She has a fighting spirit, and I am praying that she beats this.” He continued, “It is nerve-wracking to be working so close to the coronavirus frontlines with a daughter that is immunocompromised because of her chemo. We’re taking every precaution to keep her safe, but it’s hard.”
Henry President and owner, Anthony Imperato, said, “It is heart-wrenching to think of what children like Preslie and their families have to go through when they get a diagnosis as serious as leukemia…We get so personally invested into each of our Guns For Great Causes benefits as soon as we see the first photo of the kid’s smile, and we hope this goes a long way to helping the Mantsch family in these most challenging of times.”
The rifles were made available for purchase directly through Henry’s website earlier this month and sold out within hours, raising more than $39,000. The first (serial No. PRESLIE01) and last (PRESLIE65) rifles in the series are now up for auction on Gunbroker.com. All proceeds collected from the “Prayers For Preslie” rifles will be presented to the family.
The lever actions feature a nickel-plated receiver cover, buttplate, and barrel band with a deeply blued steel octagon barrel. The genuine American walnut buttstock is engraved with an orange leukemia awareness ribbon in the middle of stylized butterfly wings, symbolizing hope and Preslie’s endurance. Above the butterfly are the words, “Prayers For Preslie,” in matching bright orange.
Henry has a long history of helping through its “Guns for Great Causes” program. In July it raised funds for a family with a 2-year-old son battling cancer.