By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
A local 4-H club has received a generous grant from the National Rifle Association (NRA). The Shorty’s Sharpshooters club was notified recently of being awarded the NRA grant for a total of $9,972.54. The grant included the value of two 28” 12-gauge shotguns, five 30” 12-gauge shotguns, and five 21” 20-gauge shotguns, along with a gun safe and a number of different shotgun shells.
Shorty’s Sharpshooters 4-H Club was organized about two years ago; under leader Lukas Tom, more commonly known as “Shorty”; to fill a need in the area for a youth shooting sports club. The club offers archery, shotgun, and rifle shooting sports to 4-H members and meets twice a month in Moapa in the fields behind AM/PM.
“This program helps youth learn marksmanship, safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of archery, and much more,” said local 4-H Coordinator Lacey Sproul-Tom. “The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills and self-worth.”
Membership in the club is currently limited to about 10 kids due to safety reasons, but every season the club is opened to new members on a first come-first served basis.
Shooting sports is a popular 4-H project around the state. But starting a club can be expensive because of the cost of the equipment involved. Up until now, the club has funded itself through fundraising events and club dues. But the grant provides much needed support.
“Our goal in writing this grant is to reduce the cost that we have to place on the kids so that more kids can participate,” said Sproul-Tom. “Eventually we want to only charge them for the cost of clay targets.”
Shorty learned about the NRA grant from another shooting sports club and urged the staff at the local University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office to apply for it.
“I applied for it and I wrote it by myself so I was pretty excited about how it turned out,” said Sproul-Tom. “We applied for a number of things, some of which we got and some of which we didn’t, but we were really happy overall with the things the NRA awarded to us.”
Sproul-Tom said she had hoped for a shooting sports trailer, as well as some other guns, which weren’t awarded. But she knows that some things take time to get.
One thing that the club didn’t get that they do need soon, however, is gun cases for their new guns. They are hoping to get donations of new or used gun cases from anyone who may have one lying around, or monetary donations for cases from anyone who would like to support the club.
The NRA was established in 1871 and is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. The NRA Foundation was established in 1990 as an organization that uses donations to support a wide range of firearm-related public interest activities.
Sproul-Tom is pleased for the support to their program. “We are very excited about Northeast Clark County 4-H Shooting Sports and pleased that the NRA is making an investment in our community,” she said.
For more information on the shooting sports program, or to donate gun cases for the new shotguns the club has received, please contact the local UNCE office at 702-397-8957.