Members and volunteer leaders of the Botetourt 4-H Shooting Education Club accepted the symbolic check for $37,033.64 from NRA Foundation CFO Rick Tedrick (center) during a presentation Saturday morning at Sportsman’s Warehouse. With them are representatives from the Roanoke Valley Friends of NRA Mike Kessler (left), Mike Smith (second from left) and Roy Gross (right) who help raise the money through Friends banquets and raffles each year. Botetourt 4-Hers at the gathering included volunteer instructors Greg Wilhelm, Tom Kehr, Rob Dudley and Ed McCoy (not pictured), and club members Jordan Wilhelm, Steven Kehr and Daniel Kehr.
NRA Foundation CFO Rick Tedrick (left) presents a check to Ridge Rifle Association President Larry Clark. The check represented the 19 grants the foundation has awarded to the Ridge Rifle for range improvements and its women’s, youth and other shooting events.

Rick Tedrick, CFO of the National Rifle Association (NRA) Foundation, presented symbolic checks to the Botetourt County 4-H Shooting Education Club and Ridge Rifle Association Saturday morning during a gathering at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Roanoke.

NRA Foundation, through Friends of NRA chapters’ fundraisers across the state, has awarded grants totaling more than  $37,000 to the Botetourt 4-H Shooting Education Club since 2005, and grants totaling $42,911to Ridge Rifle Association since 2007.

Botetourt 4-H volunteers and club members and Ridge Rifle Association members were on hand to acknowledge the grants and meet with Tedrick and other 4-H clubs that have received grants.

Representatives from the Roanoke Valley Friends of NRA were also present.

Tedrick said the grants that have been awarded to the Botetourt 4-H club have been used for skeet throwers, new over/under shotguns, BB guns, air rifles, .22 rifles, .22 pistols, air pistols, ammunition, targets and archer gear.

“Botetourt County 4-H leadership seeks to provide youth with training in responsible firearms safety and marksmanship fundamentals; but even more important, they want to provide their members the opportunity to gain and improve leadership skills, responsibility, communication skills and the opportunity to have fun in the shooting sports,” Tedrick said.

Tedrick noted that Ridge Rifle Association, which has a private range north of Fincastle, has used many of the 19 grants it has received for Women On Target and NRA Day events, reaching almost 900 people in the Roanoke area.

He said Ridge Rifle has partnered with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to teach hunter safety, and the Roanoke Police Department, teaching self-defense techniques. Because of NRA Foundation, grants for the Women On Target event has included AR-15 sport rifles. Other grants have been for improvements on the range, such as safety walls between ranges and upgrades to the trap range.

Ridge Rifle Association has also allowed the Botetourt 4-H Shooting Education Club to use the range for regular practices during the spring, summer and early fall months.

Tedrick also presented a symbolic check for $124,887 to the Blue Ridge Mountain Council Boy Scouts of America. The local council has received 30 NRA Foundation grants since 1999.

The NRA Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1990 operated exclusively in support of charitable, scientific and educational purposes. Through 2016, the NRA Foundation has awarded over $335 million through 42,000 individual grants in support of eligible programs and projects across the country.

The grants are generated through local Friends of the NRA events, including those held by the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg, Rockbridge and Alleghany Friends volunteer committees.

The Roanoke Valley Friends of NRA annual fundraising event is August 19 at the Salem Civic Center. (For additional information on packages, tickets, sponsorships, games, etc., contact Chairman Al Milton at 540-797-7777 or Vice-Chair Roy Gross Jr. at 540-589-1711).

Tedrick said the NRA Foundation hosts 1,100 of these events nationwide with volunteers in all states.  “You should be very proud of this hard work that the Virginia (Friends of NRA) volunteers have provided throughout the years,” he said.