Chairwoman of the Portsmouth Patriots Friends of the National Rifle Association, Rebecca Clark is well aware no matter what she says, no matter what she believes the true intentions of her group to be, some people just aren’t going to like the idea of the Friends of NRA Gun Bash the set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Southpoint Community Center, 404 Second St., West, South Point.
Clark describes the fundraising event as a family affair, benefiting the various activities of the Portsmouth Patriots. The group donates half the proceeds from their annual fundraising efforts for hunter safety classes given throughout Ohio, “so that youth and adults of all ages can learn for free how to hunt safely and humanely.”
The second half of their money is spent more locally, on a healthy number of grants to various 4-H groups and other organizations in counties all around southern Ohio.
As one example of the group’s philanthropy, Clark notes Portsmouth Patriots helped build a firing range at Camp OYO, the local Boy Scouts of America camp.
“We have also contributed to various organizations throughout our state; dealing with youth firearms safety, accommodating disabled veterans being able to hunt, JR ROTC, firearms safety programs in our schools and others that have applied for Friends of NRA grants,” Clark wrote in an email.
“We will deal with anything that has to do with firearms safety,” Clark added later.
She specifically noted Portsmouth Patriots is not in any way a political organization and is in fact banned from involving itself directly in politics. Still, she again readily admitted her organization and its events are almost always going to come under fire from certain quarters.
“Unfortunately, you have people who are uneducated regarding firearms,” Clark said. She somewhat jokingly added some people seem to believe “a gun will jump up off the table and fire itself.” Clark is insistent Portsmouth Patriots is dedicated to “gun safety and keeping people safe… That’s what were about.”
Regarding the upcoming event, Clark noted there will be no live shooting and no guns for sale. Along with dinner and other activities, visitors could possibly win a firearm or two by taking part in various raffles and what she called a “Chinese auction.”
Clark said the Gun Bash is the Portsmouth Patriots second biggest fundraiser of the year, the biggest being their annual banquet. Although she declined to specifically speculate on the attendance at the Saturday event, Clark said the South Point Community Center has a capacity of roughly 150 people.
Gun Bash tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple.
Visit www.friendsofnra.org/eventtickets/Events/Details/36?eventId=57012 or call Clark at (740) 727-or3935.
Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370-0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.