By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Quay County chapter of Friends of the National Rifle Association held its annual banquet Saturday, raising $33,000 to raise funds for local 4-H youth firearms education and activities and honoring local veterans, two of whom were 100 years old.
Five local veterans were honored at the banquet, including Horace Woods and Fred Morgan, both 100 years old; Don Hofman; Elmer Boatman; and Ronald Stoner.
Banquet chair Kent Terry said next year’s banquet coordinators plan to honor the same number or even more veterans.
Terry said about 400 people attended the banquet. As in previous years, vendors sold tickets starting at $10 each at long tables that lining the walls of the Tucumcari Convention Center’s main room. Some of the vendors held games to win more tickets and chances to win new and vintage firearms, including hunting rifles, shotguns and handguns, as well as other associated merchandise. There were other items, including art and jewelry, for which banquet guests could bid in a silent auction, even a guitar autographed by Ted Nugent, a rock ‘n’ roll guitarist and gun advocate.
“We are supporting the right to bear arms and in doing so, we must also include our children in our efforts,” Terry said. “Education about firearms and firearms safety are very important things to teach our youth.”
Terry estimated that roughly $33,000 was raised at this years banquet, a little more than last year’s banquet generated. Half of the proceesds will stay in Quay County and fund youth shooting programs for local 4-H clubs. He said the shooting programs include rifle, shotgun, pistol, muzzle loader and bow. Banquet proceeds last year also funded a donation to the Logan Gun Club for range improvement and range supplies.
The funds raised at the banquet also help pay for 4-H youth hunting contest in which participants compet in all hunting disciplines, orientation (finding one’s way with a compass) and wildlife identification, said Brenda Bishop, coordinator of 4-H programs for the Quay County Agricultural Extension office.
Bishop said the money that is raised at the banquet goes into a statewide grant fund, and local 4-H clubs apply for grants to fund various programs. She said one of the programs, Women on Target, introduces women to guns or helps them brush up on shooting skils.
Bishop said local 4-H clubs have also applied for funding of a new program called “Refuse to be a victim.” In this program, she said, a trainer teaches the basics about being aware of surroundings, avoiding harmful situations and some self-defense methods.
Bishop said funds also pay for the YES CAMP a yearly leadership camp at which high school seniors learn about government and even travel to Washington D.C., and the Eddie Eagle progam that teaches gun safety in area schools.
Terry said this year’s banquet meal was catered by the Annex Bar Barbecue and Grill in Logan and was served by Logan High School seniors.