Marksmen, newbies join trap-shooting effort to benefit Sandy nonprofit
Sandys newest fundraiser began with a bang on Saturday.
Actually, it began with hundreds of bangs.
Pull for Young Life, a trap shoot event at the Portland Gun Club, drew about 80 attendees from Sandy, Estacada, Boring and Gresham for a morning of friendly competition on the range, including many experienced marksmen as well as some who had never previously tried the sport. Two rounds of trap shooting were held, as well as an Annie Oakley knockout game.
Through the days festivities, organizers aimed to raise $10,000 for Young Life in Sandy. The nonprofit group ministers to youth, and is part of a 75-year-old international organization; camps and extracurricular clubs are a particular focus of its nondenominational outreach. About 40 to 60 kids are part of the local Young Life group.
The group began planning the Pull for Young Life event about a year ago, said Daniel Meyer, a Sandy Young Life staff associate.
On Saturday, Meyer was thrilled with the results.
Its going awesome, he said. Its really cool to rally the troops. We just started a year ago, so were still getting the word out about Young Life. Its good to get everyone in the same spot.
That included some local celebrities, such as the Sandy-based Hoffman family, the cast of Discovery Channel mining show Gold Rush, and Bethy Rossos, an Estacada resident and former contestant on the Fox cooking competition show MasterChef. The Hoffmans host Monday night Young Life activities at their airport property. Rossos is a Young Life volunteer and lent her culinary talents to Saturdays event by catering lunch.
Todd Hoffman said he was heartened to see Saturdays big turnout, especially since he often feels that people are losing faith in todays youth.
Its a big deal for me, he said. If we give up on our youth, were giving up on our future. Thats whats cool for me, to see that many guys come out.
He added that he hopes the event will double in size next year.
Wayne Patterson, the director of Young Lifes Mt. Hood region, believes thats entirely possible. Because of Sandys demographic which includes a large number of sportsmen and women Patterson said organizers planned their event well.
Shooting is probably a big part of the culture there, Patterson said. Given that we have that many shooters and its the first time weve done it, confirms that. Plus, its a great cause.
Even those who were new to trap shooting found a way to have fun on Saturday. The day began with a safety briefing, and shotguns were available for rent to participants who did not have or bring their own. Attendees could register as an individual for $100 and be placed on a team of five shooters.
There are people here who have never shot before, Meyer noted. And there are people who have been part of the gun club.
Boring residents Craig Gearheart and his son Hunter, 15, were no strangers to the range. Hunter is on the youth trap team at Douglas Ridge Rifle Club in Eagle Creek. A sophomore at Sandy High School, hes also a regular Young Life club attendee and planning to attend Young Lifes summer camp the last week of July in Antelope, Ore. Some 30 Sandy-area youth are also registered for the camp.
Gearheart said his son enjoys Young Life events because they are safe and supportive.
Its not a like a special clique, he said. Its just a bunch of kids that get together to have fun and learn about being a good Christian.
Everyone can just be who they are, he said.