By Ron VandenBoom
The Bear Paw Jr. Rifle Club will have some new rifles and some new shooting jackets soon thanks to a $5,200 grant presented by the National Rifle Association during a ceremony Tuesday night.
Ted Kosowski, along with Kim Kafka, originated the idea to apply for the grant that Kosowski said is made possible from money raised through Friends of the NRA Banquets that are held during the year in communities throughout the state. Fifty percent of the money is then sent to the national organization for range development and the other 50 percent is returned to the state through grant applications, also to be used for range development.
None of the money raised at the banquets is used for any political purposes or lobbying, he said.
The Bear Paw Jr. Rifle Club submitted their application for a grant in September 1999 and were notified of its approval in January 2000.
"We want to continue this program for the youth of the city of Havre and the surrounding area," Kosowski said. "It's a good program. It teaches discipline, integrity, and a variety of skills that they can use later in life."
Rich Herminghaus, Montana field representative for the NRA, presented the check to the club Tuesday evening during an ad-hoc meeting at the rifle range in the basement of the Havre Fire Department.
Herminghaus said the NRA is really going to "go big this fall" with the Eddy Eagles Gun Safety Program for grades K-2 and grades 3-6 and this program, as well as several others, will be partially funded with the national organizations share of the money collected from the Friends of the NRA Banquets.
"The youth are the future of shooting, without a doubt," Herminghaus said. "No other organization can say that 100 percent of the funds that we raise stays right in the organization and comes back to the shooting sports."
Herminghaus said he presents about 15 checks each year to various clubs and organizations throughout the state of Montana and that the $5,200 check he presented last night is one of the larger he will present.