Patriot Americans from around the country brought their shotguns to Texas on Saturday, raising more than $1 million for military-related charities.
The largest charity fundraising shooting event of its kind ever held in America, The Remington Great Americans Shoot managed to surpass its remarkable inaugural fundraising from last year , reaching more than $1.4 million. Last year, the event raised nearly $1.2 million for military charities.
This national shoot was sponsored by Remington Arms and pays homage to the warriors who have served and are serving in the U.S. military’s Special Operations.
Folks brought their favorite shotguns out to the beautiful Providence Plantation near Houston. The event is an opportunity to have a lot of fun shooting clays and also to do a lot of good. The funds raised benefit the Special Forces Charitable Trust as well as other military non-profits to benefit active duty service members, veterans and their families.
The Special Forces Charitable Trust provides support to the Special Forces community and their families. The Trust supports the Green Berets in education and motivation, family and command support, and advocacy and heritage.
Texan entrepreneur and renowned philanthropist Mike Reynolds founded the Shoot event. “The original idea was to find a way to allow normal citizens the opportunity to sit with some of these truly amazing men and women and say more than just a thank you,” he explained, in a press release. “It’s a chance for us to put our arms around someone who has been to battle for this country, whose family has given so much, and say how much we appreciate the security you bring to my family’s life.”
More than 118 participants and over 2,098 donors – more than double the inaugural year - were involved in the shoot.
Some 18 teams of five shooters plus a sixth man from the forces took part in the competition, with each shooter committing to raise or write a check for a minimum of $10,000. Each team also had a “sixth man” shooter – either a veteran or an active duty service member.
85-year old philanthropist and construction magnate Laura Berry was once again a show-stealing team captain. As captain of ‘Lady Laura and The Shooting Stars,’ she arrived to compete by jumping out of a plane. The Remington team also had a surprise in store, bringing out country singer Adley Stump, who helped lead them to victory.
The top shooting squad was the Quiet Professionals, a San Antonio, Texas team captained by Sara Walker. It was a day of tough competition with very talented shooters, with The Big Green Team and Oaktree Sharpshooters taking second and third place, respectively, behind the Quiet Professionals.
Other teams included The Good Guns, Gunsmoke, Joint Task Force Fury and the Houston Clay Crushers, who all vied for generous prizes donated by Remington and others.
The Remington Great Americans Shoot is a one-of-a-kind format. Shooters used fundraising site DoJiggy to raise pledges from friends, family, and business associates for each clay pigeon they hit.
Each team chose a military charity to benefit from the fundraising. Half of the proceeds go to the Special Forces Charitable Trust with the remainder split among charities designated by the top five fundraising teams.
There were plenty of notable accomplishments during the day’s shooting, but Capt. Ivan Castro’s shooting was particularly impressive. Capt. Castro continued active duty service in the Special Forces after losing his sight in combat. Once again, he closed the event with an astonishing demonstration of effectively shooting clay after clay. He hit 15 out of 20 clays - without sight.
Sponsor Remington provided 31 incredible prizes to the competitors – and even provided the ammo all day and fielded a team.
First prize for the top individual fundraiser was a 2015 Jeep Wrangler customized by Xtreme Outfitters.
A Remington M2010 Enhanced Sniper System constructed in lightweight polymers, aluminum and steel was the reward for the second-highest fundraiser It came with a full optics package and was chambered with .300 Win Mag.
Third prize was the Remington M24 Anniversary Edition 7.62 with optics. The commemorative rifle was previously only available to former and active duty U.S. military snipers. It is built from authentic M24 Sniper Weapon Systems components.
Want to help? For more information on the Remington Great Americans Shoot and to donate, visit this website. Registration to shoot to support American warfighters in 2016 is now open.
Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line. You can reach her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @Allison_Barrie.
Allison Barrie consults at the highest levels of defense, has travelled to more than 70 countries, is a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees and now the author of the new book "Future Weapons: Access Granted" covering invisible tanks through to thought-controlled fighter jets. You can click here for more information on FOX Firepower columnist and host Allison Barrie and you can follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie.