Golf carts loaded with men barring shotguns drove down the graveled roads at Oak Creek Sporting Club in Brainerd on Thursday, Sept. 27. It was all a part of the 14th annual Nebraska 4-H Foundation Charity Shoot.
“It’s basically a golf tournament, but with a shotgun,” said Sara Werner, the foundation relations coordinator for the Nebraska 4-H Foundation.
The event originally started in honor of a 4-H member who passed away with the idea of hosting an event to benefit the organization, Werner said. Today, the Charity Shoot is one of the foundation’s largest fundraisers, raising between $20,000 and $40,000 each year for the statewide organization.
“It’s nice to be able to host this event,” said Katie Pleskac, the 4-H extension educator for Butler County. “The money that’s raised supports statewide programs, so it is nice to have that local connection.”
The money raised at the shoot goes toward supporting the statewide program rather than specifically going towards local 4-H groups within Butler County, Pleskac said.
The 4-H is the largest youth organization in the country and within the state of Nebraska. It was founded in 1902 in the U.S. with the goal of improving the lives of youth everywhere and aimed at having a positive effect on their lives. The organization's emblem is a green four-leafed clover with white ‘H’s on it standing for Head, Heart, Hands and Health.
One in three students in Nebraska participate in a 4-H sponsored program, Werner said. This includes clubs, after-school programs, in-school enrichment and 4-H activities.
This year, 110 people participated in shooting teams comprised of four at the shoot. Each participant supplied their own shotgun to shoot clay pigeons with at the range. Awards were given out to teams and individuals who performed the best along the 20 station course.
The minimum age to participate was 18, but Werner said most people in attendance were in their 40s. In the past, Werner said the event could have anywhere from 90 to 170 in attendance. Many came from Omaha and Lincoln to support the charity event.
Pleskac said that this was one of the largest numbers of participants in years. She attributed it to the good weather.
“The weather this year is way better. The weather always brings more people out,” Pleskac said. “Last year was really hot, a couple of years ago it was raining. So today is like the perfect day.”
Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.