East Alton, IL -(AmmoLand.com)- Twenty million dollars raised to date by good people who enjoy the shooting sports and have a heart for children and their families—it is a news story that hasn’t been trumpeted loud enough. But that describes how the first Kids & Clays shooting sports event to benefit families in need launched in 1999 with the support of Winchester Ammunition and has grown to be a major fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) across the country.
“Our long-standing commitment—20 years—as the major ammunition supporter to Kids & Clays is extremely important,” said Matt Campbell, vice president of sales and marketing for Winchester Ammunition. “We are proud that our brand of more than 150 years is associated with organizations like Kids & Clays and that we can help further their mission.”
In 1999, Glenn and Kathy Lubeznik, McDonald’s owner/operators in northwest Indiana, chaired the first annual Sporting Clays Tournament benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland. With the support of Winchester Ammunition, McDonald’s owners/operators and McDonald’s suppliers, the event hosted 137 participants and generated more than $15,000 for RMHC.
The next year, companies and organizations such as Browning, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) followed Winchester’s lead and agreed to support the event as sponsors. More than 220 participants shot in the Chicago tournament, and the Chicago Ronald McDonald House was again the beneficiary, to the tune of over $58,000.
The rapid success of the Chicago area tournament inspired Mr. Lubeznik to share his knowledge of this fundraiser with Ronald McDonald Houses across the country. Because of the potential for growth of this program, Mr. Lubeznik formed what is known today as the Kids & Clays Foundation. The Foundation’s goal was to promote shooting tournaments as a unique type of fundraising event for Ronald McDonald Houses across the nation.
Each year, Winchester donates over 1,000 cases of its famous shotshell target ammunition and merchandise to support over 25 Kids & Clays events. The local Ronald McDonald House Charities keep 100% of the net proceeds from each event. What started as tens of thousands of dollars annually in fundraising has grown exponentially with 2019 setting a record high of nearly $1.9 million raised, all to help critically ill children from coast to coast.
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