Turkey Shoot offers prizes and chance to help local nonprofit
Last modified: Nov. 14, 2012
This weekend's First Inaugural Turkey Shoot will offer the chance to earn money while helping a local nonprofit group to help others.
The Elk Shoals Campground, along the banks of the New River will host the fundraising event, beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 12.
Registrations will begin at 10 a.m. and camp director, the Rev. Peter Parish, of ESC, said they expect to have some shooting under way by 10:15 a.m. Shells will be provided to participants.
“We have 2,000 rounds of ammunition,” Parish said. “I'm not sure how long that will take to finish, but we can handle 16 shooters at a time.
“I've never done one of these before so I've been relying a lot on Daniel Miller of Glendale Springs,” Parish said.
There is no cost to register, but shooters pay $3 to pull the trigger. Anyone 16-years-old and older is invited to participate. Parish said every shooter who takes part must sign a waiver when registering. Individuals who are younger than 18-years-old must have a parent or guardian with them to sign the waiver.
During registration, participants will sign in and be allotted a number for that round.
Shooters aren't allowed to use sleeved barrels or modified guns.
“We want good, fair sportsmanship,” Parish said. “That's why we provide the ammunition, so everyone will have the same type.”
Shooting targets will be set at a distance of 30 yards.
In many turkey shoots, held in November to coincide with Thanksgiving, the prizes awarded in each round are frozen turkeys or other food items geared towards the holiday meal. However, Parish said they will be giving away Walmart shopping cards instead of trying to store frozen foods, and winners can purchase what they wish.
Texas Chili and Brunswick Stew will be served during the shoot and the cost will be by donation.
“People can give what they think the food is worth,” Parish said.
For more information about the event, call (336) 977-1884.
Many children come to the camp, and are able to because it is a low-cost operation.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the camp's nonprofit outreach and ministry program which includes the Elk Shoals American Interfaith Camps.
This program began following the 9-11 tragedy. Through the first camp, 32 Jewish, Islamic and Christian boys, with their counselors and religious leaders, came to the camp. The students learned trust-forming exercises with the others and learned about each of the religions represented while still coming away trusting the messages of their own religion and God, according to Parish.
Since the first camp, a girls' Interfaith Camp has been added. In 2012, IFC for boys was in their 11th year while the years are in their eighth year.
“There's one of our programs that I'm very involved with right now, but we're a bit behind,” Parish said. “We're physically building a center for special needs kids and their families.
“Theoretically, we could handle 24 children who are wheelchair-bound, along with their families,” he continued.
Children and their families facing emotional, mental or physical disabilities will be welcome to visit the campground for a week.
The cabins or homes for the families to spend their visits in are located high on the mountainside, overlooking the New River. They are all being built to Americans with Disabilities Act standards for accessible design.
“Some people have asked why we are building the family cabins so high on the mountain instead of down by the river where it would be easier for the children in wheelchairs to access,” Parish said.
“I told them, ‘well, these children have had to look up at everything for their entire lives. I want to put them somewhere where they can look down for a change.'”
Facing a funding loss
According to Parish, after 2013, the United Methodist Church, Western North Carolina conference may not have the funds to continue to support any camps.
“They've been cutting funding steadily for years and it looks like they'll be unable to continue to support us next year,” Parish said.
“We've got to scramble and find alternative means,” he said. “The camp can't sustain itself. And, after November in Ashe County, you can't even contemplate camping.”
Looking on the upside
Although they are faced with a challenge and admittedly need to scramble to increase their fundraising, Parish said they are thankful that they are not in debt.
“I refused to lead this camp into debt,” Parish said.
Regardless, “most of our conversations are centering on fundraising and we don't know what we're going to do,” he continued. “We're going to have to activate our board of directors to start numerous fundraisers.”
The group is a nonprofit organization and donations are not only appreciated, but they are tax-deductible.
“I'm confident that even if the conference lets us down, the good people of Ashe County won't,” Parish said. “People of Ashe County have got to be the most generous people in the world. They always come to our aid and they know and understand the value of what we do.
The camp also holds an annual golf tournament fundraiser every September.
With questions about the camp, call (336) 877-4607.