CHEROKEE STRIP FRIENDS OF THE NRA 17TH ANNUAL BANQUET
Contact: Forrest Mann 580.548.4540
The Cherokee Strip Friends of NRA are proud to announce their 17th Annual Banquet. The doors will open at 5:30PM Saturday, August 9th at the Enid Event Center. Advance tickets ($30) can be purchased before August 7th at the following Enid and Waukomis locations:
Bill’s Outdoor Sports
Bill’s Barber Shop
TNT Gunworks in Waukomis
Tickets are $35 at the door. Over 600 Friends of the NRA attended the banquet in 2013.
“Hosting the NRA Banquet for the second time in Enid Event Center showcases the flexibility of the space and provides an incredible environment for one of the largest banquets the facilities host every year. Their mission is tremendous and the proceeds directly benefit people locally. I would encourage folks interested in attending to buy tickets prior to arrival on Saturday the 9th of August!” ~ Keller Taylor l General Manager l Enid Event Center and Convention Hall
The event is open to members and Non-members of all ages. There will be a live auction, silent auction, great games and good food. Amongst the fun and fellowship, Friends of NRA banquets boil down to one goal–fund-raising for the future of the shooting sports.
If you have ever wondered what the Cherokee Strip Friends of the NRA is all about, here are two editorials from Shelley Stutchman of Enid, Oklahoma with Oklahoma City Fiftysomething Relationships Examiner and Sheila Hartje, Author from Missouri and a brief statement from Forrest Mann, Cherokee Strip FNRA Chairman.
Oklahoma City Fiftysomething Relationships Examiner
August 12, 2012
I never dreamed I would find myself at a NRA banquet. Guns have never been of interest to me and the NRA is just something I never thought about. On Saturday, August 11, my daughter asked me to join her at the banquet. She and her husband were sponsors, but he could not attend, and she did not want to go alone. So being a good mother, I said, “Sure.”
In a few short hours I learned a valuable lesson. The lesson was, just because you think you are not interested in something, but an opportunity comes up to explore something new….go for it with an open mind. I did not come home packing a gun or purchasing a knife to carry in my purse, but I learned some interesting facts that gave me pause to think.
I have been to many banquets in my life but never to one like the NRA banquet. Instead of a little black dress, jeans and cowboy boots were the fashion of the evening. When my daughter and I walked in, it was not little groups sipping a cocktail and polite talk, but it was a room busy with friendly smiles and everyone looking at table after table of guns or gun- related items. My daughter packs, I don’t, so I went looking for the cash bar to buy a glass of wine. No bar at this banquet, only ice tea and ice water. Later in the evening when the MC was talking he mentioned there was no alcohol at the event because it was a family friendly event and they did not want anything at the banquet a child could not be part of. Because this was a fund raiser my first thought was, but they could make so much money on mixed drinks; then I thought, maybe this organization is more about their beliefs than squeezing another dollar or two out of the people attending.
We sat down to get ready for the dinner; I was thinking this was an awfully good table we were sitting at and wondered why it had not been taken. We soon found out….it was a table for the $10,000.00 sponsors of the event. Since my daughter, the couple we ran into that we knew, and myself did not have a handy $10,000.00 to donate, we found a table way in the back of the room. I was just glad I had not dipped my fork into the dessert that was already sitting in place at that $10,000.00 table. The MC got on the mike and called for the Pledge of Allegiance to be said. I can honestly say I have never before heard it said with as much passion and conviction as I heard that night. Hundreds of people stood and recited the pledge in a way that gave me chills and made me proud I was an American. Another lesson learned, next time I say the pledge; it will not be just the words coming out of my mouth in a routine manner; I will remember I am a proud American and should say the pledge with passion. The pledge was followed by a prayer. Then everybody was asked to be seated.
The MC asked all Veterans to stand and thanked them. The crowd clapped long and hard for these brave men and women. He then announced all Veterans and their families were to go through the buffet line first. That honor, that evening, was reserved for the people who donated their time and life to our country, rather than to those that gave the big donations. Another lesson learned when I am in a line anywhere and I see a Veteran, I will honor them and let them go before me.
The buffet line once again proved this group believed in their convictions of family and country. There was a special buffet line for the children. The tables were lower so they would be at the right height and they were filled with foods that appealed to children. I was very impressed with all the thought for everyone from the youngest to the oldest that had gone into the evening events. After dinner, there were drawings and auctions, not just a few, but hours of drawings and auctions. Some of the items were for kids only so they did not get bored as this group was raising money for their organization. I learned from the MC that Oklahoma contributes more to the NRA than any other state in the nation. I found that so interesting. We are one of the poorest states and one of the smaller states in our nation, yet the people in Oklahoma that belong to this organization put their money where their mouth is.
As the evening wore on, I heard conversation about the importance of guns and how they may be all we have to protect ourselves in a crazy world. There was much talk about the shooting in the movie theater in Colorado and the lives that may have been saved if someone in there had a gun on them. The book, “One Second After,” by William R. Forstchen, was recommended reading. A book about how chaos and death are but a power plug away in our nation. Another lesson learned, when you put yourself out there in the world and do something different, you hear a different kind of conversation than your usual circle. It is interesting and challenging to hear things you never really think about or know about.
I left the banquet knowing more about guns, protecting our freedoms as a nation, and showing passion when I say the pledge. I also left with the knowledge to remember there are so many interesting opinions in this world. It is important to keep our minds open and listen so we can understand each other a little better. In understanding maybe we can feel more compassion towards our fellow brothers and sisters; and just maybe we won’t have to worry about one second after.
For more information about the NRA go to http://www.okfnra.org/
Suggested by the author
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!
Sheila Hartje, Author
Editorial from a neighbor-
For many just hearing the letters spoken-NRA-makes their blood boil and their respiration and heart rate increase. Adding just one letter-F (for Friends) does not make any difference to them.
Friends of the NRA is an ugly epitaph to them. For some they are nearly fighting words. What I would like to know is-WHY? Having been a committee member in one of your neighboring states for nearly 20 years, I have witnessed many groups benefit from this organization.
The FNRA organization is primarily a fund-raising group in support of Youth-Oriented Shooting Sports and Hunter Safety Education. Yearly, groups that have applied for grants are awarded monies to build target ranges, fund youth groups such as the BSA (Boy Scouts of America), FFA (Future Farmers of America), YHEC (Youth Hunter Education Challenge) and many others with shooting supplies as well. Even the Royal Rangers from the Assembly of God church in the headquarters of Springfield, MO received a grant for a shooting range.
There is also a program called Refuse to Be a Victim for women. Personal safety tips and information to teach a woman how to avoid dangerous situations and how to escape becoming a victim are what make up this program. It makes no sense that every female from preteen to octogenarian and beyond would not be lining up for such an opportunity.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised through the efforts of the volunteer committee members of the FNRA. Half of all money collected stays in your state while the rest goes into the NRA Foundation for similar programs nationwide.
With all that being said, I am pleased to tell you the Cherokee Strip Friends of NRA are proud to announce their 17th Annual Banquet. The doors will open at 5:30 pm Saturday, August 9th at the Enid Events Center. Advance tickets can be purchased by August 7th at the following Enid and Waukomis locations: APR, Inc., Bill’s Outdoor Sports, Plane Music, Mann’s Rental, Bill’s Barber Shop, Bradford Supply and TNT Gunworks in Waukomis. The event is open to people of all ages. There will be a live auction, silent auction and great games and good food. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
Before letting a few letters of the alphabet give you heartburn, come find out what all the fuss is about and have a really fun time doing it.
A friend from the Show-Me State
“Last year the Cherokee Strip Friends of the NRA ranked 3rd in the state of Oklahoma out of 24 banquets and 8th in the Nation out of 1200 banquets, netting $148,000.” states Forrest Mann, Cherokee Strip FNRA Chairman. All money received by the FNRA is used for awarding grants with 110 grants that awarded $640,000 to the state of Oklahoma last February. Come on Saturday and meet some great people and have some fun.