By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), with the help of the CMP State Directors from Ohio, Russ and Vickie Evans, recently donated a beginning air rifle program kit to the Lowellville Rod & Gun Club in Lowellville, Ohio. The kit, which includes four Daisy M853 reconditioned pneumatic air rifles, four tins of .177 caliber pellets, a pack of air rifle targets, three-position air rifle rules and shooters journals as well as an air rifle safety poster, was donated to the club in the hopes of furthering the involvement of its juniors in air rifle shooting programs.
In a letter to Russ and Vickie, the club responded in thanks, touching on the importance of educating juniors on responsible practices within the sport. Steve Raseta, trustee of the club, also said, “The youth members are our future in conservation and outdoor sportsmanship activities. These items will add tremendous value to our club, as it creates more opportunities for our youth members to develop shooting skills.”
Russ and Vickie have praised the leadership of the club and its continued commitment to its smallbore program for the past several years. The couple also mentioned their interest in helping the club motivate its juniors to pursue the benefits of other disciplines by encouraging participation in local air rifle events.
“We hope that Lowellville will start juniors in sporter air rifle and bring them to competitions,” Russ said, “Vickie and I had spoken to some of the Lowellville leadership about junior competitions but have not been able to get their juniors into competitions. The donation of the air rifle package has helped us establish a more creditable relationship with the club.”
He went on, “[The donation] shows the CMP’s effort to assist the local clubs and encourage the leadership to look at junior shooting competitions as an option for their junior shooters. It shows that someone is interested in helping them to be successful.”
Each fiscal year, State Directors are given a Special Fund of $400 to use towards programs within their states. At the 2011 State Director Workshop, the New Air Rifle Team Package was introduced, which consists of four Daisy M853 reconditioned pneumatic air rifles, four tins of pellets and a pack of targets. The State Directors can request one package per year in lieu of their Special Fund to donate to a new team just starting out with no equipment.
Since its installment, many State Directors have taken advantage of the New Air Rifle Team Package for clubs in their states. The contribution from the CMP and Russ and Vickie in Ohio is just the most recent example of shooting community members becoming actively involved in building juniors and the future of safe and sensible marksmanship.
“This is a great starter package to introduce a club to safety, marksmanship and the CMP,” said CMP staff member Lue Sherman, who works directly with the State Directors.
She went on, “To quote our mission statement, ‘The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U. S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and airguns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions . . . that places its highest priority on serving youth through gun safety and marksmanship activities that encourage personal growth and build life skills.’ And that’s what this program ensures.”
The CMP State Directors of each of the 50 states are appointed to provide leadership, coordination, networking, motivation and publicity for shooting sports in their geographic areas. They work directly with coaches and individuals to provide enjoyable, informative and fun opportunities for junior competitors across their states and help lead them in positive directions.
Thank you to our hardworking State Directors, coaches, parents and other individuals who continue to constructively support junior programs.
For more information about CMP State Directors, including biographies and contact information, visit http://thecmp.org/training-tech/state-director/.