100th Anniversary Banquet – Final plans are underway for the Holyoke Revolver Club’s 100th Anniversary banquet on Saturday, October 25 at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee. The event is open to the public, and will feature raffles and door prizes including several firearms, guest speakers and a display of old photographs and items from the club’s history. Tickets are $40 and available from committee members or at www.holyokerevolverclub.com.
Western Mass. Pistol League – The annual matches of the WMPL will resume on October 6. Holyoke competes in a series of postal matches against other local clubs, firing .22 pistols in a gallery match format. New members are invited to participate, and loaner pistols are available. Ron Mehlhorn and Pete Galenski are co-captains, and practice sessions are held on Friday evenings.
Electronic Gate Lock – The main gate locking system has been changed from the previous padlock access to now work with the same electronic proximity card that opens the club’s front door. Keys to the yellow gate on the road to the 100-yard range are hanging below the sign-in book near the front door.
Outdoor Shooting Hours – As the autumn days grow shorter, the shooting hours on the outdoor ranges also change. The hours are posted on the northwest corner of the the building and also appear on each membership card. Closing time is not flexible.
Annual Elections – The club will hold its annual meeting and election of officers at the November members’ meeting. All members in good standing are eligible to vote, nominate another, or run for office. The positions to be filled include that of president, vice president, club governor, secretary, treasurer, membership secretary and two places of the board of directors.
Dues to Increase – Citing higher costs of operation and the need for future maintenance funding, the board of directors has voted to raise the general membership fee to $100 per year, the first increase in more than ten years. New members will pay the fee as they join throughout 2014, and renewing members will pay at the new rate in 2015. Reduced fees for seniors, spouses and juniors will remain in effect.
Holyoke Police Qualifying – The Holyoke Police Department has begun its annual qualification sessions Tuesday mornings at the indoor range. Under a contract with the club, the PD has exclusive use of the range during training and qualifications.
South Hadley Police Qualifying – The club has also signed a contract with the South Hadley PD to use the indoor range for its qualification sessions. SHPD will be qualifying on Wednesday mornings, but with only 28 officers, will only need the range for a few mornings. HRC members who arrive to find either police department using the range should ask the officer in charge when the range will be free. Outdoor ranges are not affected.
New Members – There are now more than 550 members of the Holyoke Revolver Club. Joining in recent months were:
From Holyoke, Stephen Riffenburg, Patrick McCann, Robert Saunders, Adam LaBrun, Mary Cruickshank and Jennifer Pasternak. From Chicopee, Beverley McCarthy, Paul Dugan, Tom and Christine Serrichio, Barbara Pronovost, Donald Mongeau, Daniel Dziobek, Brian Mullen, Kathleen Jackson, Anita Rios and Daniel Sadlowski. From Springfield, Mike and Melissa Belanger, Brandin Nieves, Darryl Best, Christian Santiago, Anthony Kelly, Mickey Rodrigues, Joshua Lantigua, Jessie Murray, Berris Smith and Michael Smith. From South Hadley, Russell Fuller, Jr., Larry Fuller, James Whalen, Frederic Stawarz, Caesar and Laura Fernandes, Thomas Gebhardt and Bernard Nestor. From Easthampton, Matt Gangne, Gary Matusko and Casimir Stankiewicz. From Westfield, Basia Belz, David J. and David A, Simm and Kelly Dupuis. From West Springfield, Ken Rittucci and Diane Pronovost. Also joining were John Robert Wahlberg and Jonathan Ziemba of Agawam, Peter Coppez John Dafonte Jr. and John DaFonte III, all of Southampton, Doug Bishop of Southwick, Max and Donna Bowers of Granby, Harry Vsndoloski of Hadley, William St. John of Wilbraham and Troy Hamel of South Deerfield.
HRC Hats and Patches – Hats and jacket patches embroidered with the club’s logo are now available for sale from Membership Secretary Bill Burgess. Also available are limited-edition items commemorating the club’s 100th anniversary.
The club encourages its members to join the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners’ Action League, the state rifle and pistol association. Ed Pelland is the club recruiter for both organizations, and handles membership applications and renewals for both. Club members can save $10 per year by paying for their NRA memberships through Ed for $25, rather than the standard $35. Ed receives NRA points for each renewal or new membership, which he applies to NRA memberships for the junior members of the club.
Fun Shoots – Dave Sparko conducts fun shoots on Tuesday evenings at the club. Competitors shoot .22 pistols at steel plates and a “Dueling Tree” of spinning targets, trying to move all of the discs to the opponent’s side of the tree. Match schedules will be posted on the club’s website and calendar.
Practical matches – The club holds practical matches on the fourth Saturday of the month. New shooters should arrive at 9 a.m. for safety instruction. Participants should bring a centerfire pistol or revolver and 100 rounds of ammunition, extra magazines and speedloaders, a holster, which is not a shoulder or crossdraw model, a baseball cap and eye and ear protection. Chris Fila is in charge. Volunteers are needed to set up the stages, and should arrive at 8 a.m.
Pistol Course – Holyoke Revolver Club conducts an NRA Basic Pistol course every month on the third Saturday. Successful participants receive both the NRA certificate and the Massachusetts State Police certificate required for firearms licenses. To register or for more information visit www.holyokerevolverclub.com. The club is now listed on the NRA website and will appear on a zip code search for NRA instruction. The club has more than a dozen NRA-Certified Pistol Instructors and more than two dozen NRA-Certified Range Safety Officers. Volunteers are needed to monitor the firing line from around 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m
Shooting 101 – The firearm familiarization course for new shooters has been reorganized and will be offered on certain evenings at a reduced cost of $25. Rich Asselin is in charge, and is looking for instructors and RSO’s to assist. For more information and to register for Shooting 101 visit www.holyokerevolverclub.com
100-Yard Outdoors: The range is closed when construction crews are working on the new adjacent ranges. The main backstop is at 100 yards, and a smaller berm is located at 50 yards on the rifle range. These are the only safe impact areas. Lately there have been shots fired at targets on the ground short of the two berms. This is a dangerous practice that may cause ricochets, and is not permitted on either of the outdoor ranges.