USA –-(Ammoland.com)- One month before the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team tests their mettle in Rio, five of them will participate in a send-off celebration and fundraiser July 7-9, as the National Sporting Clay Cup makes its return to Houston and the American Shooting Centers.
Epic rain has fallen upon the Bayou City and southeast Texas dropping as much as 35 inches in the past 65 days, but that isn’t stopping the American Shooting Centers from hosting the event. The ASC is located on 563 acres next to Barker Reservoir within George Bush Park on the city’s west side. The event will press on despite having to alter the location of shoot to its Trap and Skeet fields given that much of the Sporting Clay range is underwater at the moment. The Trap & Skeet fields just opened June 22 with the Rifle/Pistol range having opened June 16.
Like in 2014 during the inaugural event, the city of Houston has come out in full-support of the USA Shooting Team fundraiser with more than 70 teams expected to participate and more than 20 local businesses helping support the effort. The event got a big boost recently with Houston auto dealership Beck & Masten making a significant contribution to the fundraiser. Other local businesses contributing include: Chick-fil-A Houston; Liberty Carts; Kruse Interests; Main Street Capital; Blocker Drilling; David Z Mafrige Interests; Alliance Graphics; Houston Safari Club; AAR Inc.; and Trident Industry.
Strong support of the event means that more than 100 youth will get the opportunity to participate in the sporting clays shoot.
USA Shooting will be well-represented with nine prominent team members, including five Olympians, participating in the event. Hometown hero and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Glenn Eller headlines the team’s participation. The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) athlete has become the first American male in the shotgun discipline to make five Olympic Teams in his career.
He’s joined by Double Trap teammates Josh Richmond, a 2012 Olympian and two-time World Champion. Current World Champion and Rio-bound skeet shooter Morgan Craft will also be in Houston. Other Olympians participating include rifle expert Michael McPhail, the world’s No. 1-ranked Prone Rifle shooter who finished ninth in his first Olympic Games in London, along with three-time Olympian Keith Sanderson, a rapid fire pistol shooter who has earned nine career World Cup medals and finished fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
National Shotgun Team athletes Amber English, Mark Staffen, Hayden Stewart and Haley Dunn are participating as well.
USA Shooting raised over $250,000 during their inaugural shoot in 2014 and with Rio in Sight, this will be the can’t-miss sporting clays fundraiser of the summer with athletes making final preparations to compete at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Plenty of competition and interaction with 2016 U.S. Olympic Team members will accompany the event that includes a private benefactor dinner and practice session, along with Saturday’s main event.
“It takes a lot of energy to jump into something like this and make it successful,” said event chairman and USA Shooting Board member Butch Eller. “But when you look at beneficiaries, the athletes of USA Shooting, you know you’re doing it for all the right reasons. Success during our first event hinged on creating an event that was meaningful and enjoyable for those with an appreciation for the USA Shooting Team.”
The fundraiser uses the very popular shotgun discipline of sporting clays as the draw to lure shooting sport enthusiasts to support the USA Shooting Team as they head toward the upcoming Games as well as give the organization the head-start it needs in preparing for the next four years.
As the only non-government supported Olympic shooting team in the world, USA Shooting relies heavily on donors and sponsors to help maintain a history of success that includes 107 Olympic medals.
Kruse Interests is working in coordination with American Shooting Centers and USA Shooting to help manage and organize the event.