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Local NRA event raises $14,500

The third annual banquet for the River Valley Friends of the National Rifle Association was Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Valley House in Hudson. The event was attended by 156 people, up from 103 last year; proceeds topped $14,700.

Tom Irwin, president of the local group, said all net proceeds benefit the NRA Foundation, with half allocated back to the state where the money is raised to support projects. As a result of these activities throughout Wisconsin last year, Irwin presented a state fund grant check for $35,000 to the Central St. Croix Rod and Gun Club located at Baldwin. That club will use the funds to make range improvements and bring that facility up to safe national standards. The range expects to make the improvements and re-open this year.

The NRA Foundation has funded more than 15,000 state fund grants for a total of $100 million in the areas of youth firearms safety and education programs; hunter education; range development and improvement; training class materials; women's safety classes; and wildlife conservation efforts.

State Fund Committee grants also frequently target youth programs, allocating more than 50 percent of grant monies to this area. These grants are now the largest funding source for range improvements, 4-H shooting programs and new public shooting activities.

Next year's banquet is Sept. 24, 2009, at the Valley House. For more information, call Tom Irwin at (715) 386-1020 or Connie North at (715) 684-3603.