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Local NRA group honored at banquet

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From page A5 | February 8, 2011 | 7 Comments

The El Dorado Friends of NRA, the local nonprofit  was recently recognized as the “most improved” chapter in Northern California.

The honor came recently  at a banquet in North Highlands for the more than 50 Northern California Friends of NRA committees.

“It was a great honor,” said Chuck Holland, 44, owner of Gold Country Bail Bonds and committee chairman. “There’s approximately 50 different committees throughout Northern California and for our region, we put on the No. 1 dinner.”

The dinner refers to the annual gala hosted by the local Friends of NRA chapter. Each year, the nonprofit group organizes a massive fundraising dinner. Money generated from the affair is returned to the community via grants.

“We’re focused on doing anything and everything that we can do to further the education of Second Amendment rights, especially in our youth,” said Holland.

For the committee’s chairman, involving and educating the county youth is one of the most important aspects of the group.

“The kids have to learn someway, somehow,” he said. “We need to foster responsible gun use and education in the kids from a young age.”

The 2010 dinner for which Holland and company were honored was the most successful to date.

The 2009 dinner, for example, brought in roughly 200 guests. Holland, who was voted chairman of the group in January 2010, inherited the task of organizing the 2010 event with only a few months to plan.

The end result?

“We took over for the 15th annual dinner and sat over 400 people,” he said. “We doubled the income. We also upped the ratio of gun-to-people at the dinner; for every seven people who went, there was a gun available to win in a raffle or buy.”

Past dinners struggled to reach the “high caliber” plateau, he said. In order to reach that mark, the dinner must bring in $25,000, which grants the committee access to a high caliber firearm to sell or auction off.

“Our dinner didn’t just make the high caliber mark, we more than doubled it, which is great for our community,” he said.

In Holland’s mind, the increased success can be attributed to several reasons.

“We made some changes for that dinner,” he said. “We changed our marketing, we changed our catering, we tried to get local youth involved and we partnered with the Food Bank, which we’re doing again this year.”

By joining up with the El Dorado County Food Bank, the local Friends of NRA committee was able to provide party-goers with a fully hosted bar. Tips in excess of $2,000 were then donated to the bank.

“They were one of the best, easiest partnerships I’ve ever put together,” he said. “It’s for a good cause.”

But committee co-chair Cole Beverly, 31, thinks the newfound success starts at the top.

“I think that the new blood in the committee has helped bring a lot of new drive to the group,” he said. “We’re bringing in a lot of new faces because of that.”

Funds raised are used for grants, which were distributed by the Northern California committees Jan. 16.

As the El Dorado County delegate, Holland is allowed one vote in deciding where the committees allot the grants.

Nearly $500,000 was given out by Northern California Friends of NRA committees last month.

Of the 64 grants awarded, none of them went to El Dorado County.

“The county didn’t get one red penny,” said Holland. “It’s very frustrating that none of our local law enforcement agencies or shooting clubs received any funds.”

This year, he aims to change that by meeting with representatives of the Sheriff’s Department and Placerville police.

“This is free money,” he said. “It’s there for the taking — they just have to apply.”

The 2011 dinner is set for April 16 at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $50 each and are currently on sale. A Polaris quad ATV will be auctioned off and every attendee under the age of 17 will receive a free raffle ticket to win a youth model firearm.

The group is also bringing in celebrity auctioneer Sam Neely, who has appeared in television shows such as “Deadwood.”

“He’s awesome,” said Holland of Neely. “He’s the most entertaining auctioneer you could ever find.”

This year Holland aims to have at least 400 people attend the dinner. But he certainly wouldn’t mind a few extra.

“If we hit 500 people, that would be spectacular,” said Holland.

For more information on the El Dorado Friends of NRA or its dinner, contact Holland at 530-622-6500.

E-mail Jim Ratajczak at jratajczak@mtdemocrat.net or call 530-344-5069.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 7 comments

  • John GaronFebruary 10, 2011 - 3:46 pm

    What a great story! A group that facilitates the killing of around 2,800 American children every year gives a banquet for those selfsame victims, at which banquet are offered...guns as door prizes. The writer of this story certainly got into the martial spirit of the thing. He mentions the words 'high caliber' twice and he quotes the organizer saying, on two occasions, "...if we hit 500 people". Such a heartwarming story!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James LonghoferFebruary 10, 2011 - 4:11 pm

    I had to smile when I read that for every seven people who went there was a gun available to win in a raffle or buy. Seems just a tad over the top even for a gun dinner.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Proud Gun OwnerFebruary 10, 2011 - 11:00 pm

    Here are some facts for Garon and Longhofer to play with. As of June 27, 2008 per LexixNexis there were about 200+ million firearms in the US. About 4.5 million purchased each year. If you guys want to get on a soap box and yell, take a look at some statistics and judge for your self where your attention would be best used. Automobile related deaths for 2009 per the US DOT equal 760,980 Smoking deaths average 500k per year. The CDC reports (2001-2005) alcohol related deaths average 79k per year. In 2008 there were 11,373 DUI related deaths in the US. Mud slides killed 100k in 2009 A 2004 Gallup poll estimates 63% of Americans use alcohol, the '04 US population was 2.9 billion. (Do the math) Are firearms really the enemy? Are there other issues out there killing more Americans that need your immediate undivided attention? The answer is yes. The NRA is a great organization setting the standards in youth firearm education. Perhaps some of the other organizations (for alcohol, tobacco, DUI educators) should take some lessons from the NRA on how to be proactive with education.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • John GaronFebruary 18, 2011 - 10:05 pm

    Duh!!! I did the math and yours does not add up. The U.S. population is not 2.9 billion--that's the combined population of India and China--give or take half a billion. The U.S. population is 380 million, according to the 2010 census. Your logic does not track: automobiles and kitchen knives are necessary for us to live, eat and go to work; they're necessities. Mud slides are an act of God, as are lightning strikes. Smoking and alcohol are, indeed, killers. However, they kill the user, not third-parties--that's why smoking is banned from public places--because of second hand smoke. The only purpose of handguns is to kill people. They are not a necessity of life, they are not an act of God--they are designed solely to kill human beings. Since September 11, 2001, 270,000 Americans have been killed by guns. In 2009, 2800 children were killed by guns, mostly handguns. The NRA is a lobby that is paid by the gun manufacturers to help sell guns: that's their only mission, the rest is smoke and mirrors to give this horrendous trade a patina of legitimacy.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • John GaronFebruary 18, 2011 - 10:08 pm

    To: Proud gun owner: Don't hide behind a pseudonym, be brave, divulge your name.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • annie oakleyFebruary 18, 2011 - 10:22 pm

    Garon How many people have been killed by commies, like yerself? They might've had more of a chance if they were not restricted to sharpened sticks,after their guns were taken away, as you would have them. Have you ever even fired a gun? Daisy BB guns don't count.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • bail bonds walnutMarch 29, 2011 - 12:48 pm

    I cannot wait to study more of this excellent topic. So much of computer Ive never even looked into. You sure did put a whole new twist on something that Ive heard a great deal about. I dont believe Ive actually read any situation that does this subject of the same quality justice as you really did.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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