It’s time to renew memberships for 2018, and for the first time in several years, the board of directors voted to increase membership dues. Adult memberships are $120, spouses and seniors pay $60, and juniors will be eligible to join at no cost after taking the safety course. New adult members will pay full fees until the July meeting, when new members’ dues will be cut in half for the remainder of the year. Renewal and new membership forms are available on the club’s website, and renewals may be submitted to the membership secretary at monthly meetings or mailed to the post office box listed on the form.
HRC will hold a training course for new Range Safety Officers on February 3. For more information contact Vice President Bruce Hermans at firstname.lastname@example.org. The club’s RSOs assist the instructors and the trainees during Basic Pistol courses as well as in the First Shots and Shooting 101 courses. The Class is now FULL.
A training course for new NRA Basic Pistol instructors may be held later this year if there is sufficient interest.
March GunADay Raffle
The Pioneer Valley Committee of the Friends of NRA is selling tickets for its annual 31-gun raffle. When the three-digit ticket number matches the first three digits of the MA evening lottery drawing, the ticket holder wins a new firearm. The Friends of NRA is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that raises grant money for range development, conservation, youth and women’s programs and other qualified educational efforts. Tickets are $25 and are available from Pete and Debbie Galenski, Roland Menard and George Apgar and at the club office.
The club has replaced the old dual-fuel furnace with a high-efficiency two-stage propane unit and a second propane tank. The new system was furnished and installed by Fuel Services, Inc. of South Hadley.
Tom Gephart was the winner of the Savage .17 HRM rifle raffled off by the junior team at the December meeting. Guns and Gear of Agawam donated the rifle for the juniors’ fundraiser.
Outreach to new and prospective members, recruiting volunteers and organizing club events will be among the activities of a new Membership Committee being organized at HRC. Michelle Bailey and Gary Boisseau will serve as co-chairs. Volunteers are needed.
The club holds Ladies-only shooting sessions on the second Wednesday evening of each month. During that time the indoor range is reserved for use by any and all female HRC members. These get-togethers are intended to be fun, social gatherings where women can come together for support, encouragement, and ask questions in a safe and nonjudgemental environment. These are nights where you can improve on your marksmanship, and bond together in the shooting community. Recently the women shot skeet and trap at Easthampton Rod & Gun Club.
NRA Metallic Cartridge Reloading Course
The club may hold an NRA Metallic Reloading Course over the winter if there is enough interest. The course is an all-day hands-on session taught by certified instructors, and includes discussion of cartridge components, presses and dies, setups and safe practices. Participants will receive an NRA certificate upon successful completion. Anyone interested may leave a message on the club phone, or email Ralph Rechenberger or email@example.com.
New Security Cameras
Higher-resolution video cameras have been installed inside and outside the clubhouse to provide sharper images for any necessary review. The system also includes upgraded software.
50 Yard Range Divider
The board of directors voted to construct an earthen berm to divide the 50-yard range so that steel shooters and paper shooters can use it simultaneously without conflicts. The berm will be constructed to NRA safety standards, using the same materials as in HRC’s other outdoor ranges so that projectiles may be sifted out later and recycled. The construction will be by Dietz Construction Company of Easthampton, and will be done during the month of January 2018.
Please be aware that the 50-yard range and the Steel plate range will be shut down during the contruction. We will notify you of the exact dates and post them on the calendar when they are set.
The Holyoke Police Department has completed their annual qualifications for 2017. They will be starting up again during Feb. or March of 2018. These dates will be posted on the calendar when set.
The South Hadley PD has also completed their annual qualifications for 2017. The dates for 2018 will be posted on the calendar when set.
Holyoke Community College Police will also hold qualifications at HRC. They have exclusive use of the range during their training sessions, but club members may use the other ranges or wait for the officers to finish. The dates for 2018 will be posted on the calendar when set.
NRA Basic Pistol Training
The club offers the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course on the third Saturday of every month. Upon successful completion the students are provided with both a NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Certificate and a MA Basic Firearms Safety Certificate. This will allow the student to apply for the MA License to Carry (LTC) as well as the Connecticut LTC. This course is conducted by NRA-certified instructors and range safety officers, and is held on a Saturday with lunch provided. Details and signup applications are on the club’s website.
The club holds familiarization courses for newly-licensed members to try out a selection of 10 handguns prior to purchasing their own. Firearms range from .22 to .45 ACP, and the course is run by NRA certified instructors and range officers. Signup information is on the club website.
HRC First Shots
HRC also conducts a course for gun owners to become familiar with the operation and safety features of handguns they have recently purchased. This course will also provide the required ‘Live Fire’ for those wishing to join HRC that have not had ‘Live Fire’ with their original training. Signup information is also on the club website.
The junior rifle program is up and running. Recently the pistol team and the Westover Young Marines have joined the rifle squad for practices. Details are on the club website. Mike Heisler is in charge.
NRA and GOAL
Ed Pelland has received an Outstanding Service Award from the National Rifle Association in recognition of his recruiting work. Lately he shares this role and recruiting for the state’s Gun Owners Action League with Carl Eger. The NRA sends a rebate of $5 or $10 to the club for all renewals or new applications, and the funds support HRC’s youth programs. NRA memberships received through Ed and Carl are at a $10 discount for annual membership and larger discounts for other terms. NRA recently reduced the cost of a Life membership to $600. Ed and Carl are seated at the back table at monthly meetings.
Twenty-seven new members joined the club at the December meeting. They include Westover Young Marines Kevin Kuehner, Shea Lydon, Nathan and William Mercado, Anaya Rivera, Connor Siwicki, Esias Valentin and Bethzaida Santana. Also joining were Jamie Pike, Thomas Monahan, Robert Konsiewicz, Thomas Diemand, and Patrick Clayton, all of Holyoke, Anthony Torres, Jose Rosario, Michael Galipeau and Carlos Morales, all of Springfield, Alex MacKenzie of Easthampton, Rachel Ducharme of Southampton, Tina Mastello and Patrick O’Brien of West Springfield, Dan Sadlowski and Jessica Nadeau of Chicopee, Chris Roberts and his son Chase Roberts of Southwick and Yiming Zhao and Scott Williams of South Hadley.
Ron Mehlhorn won $28.50 in the 50/50 raffle at the December meeting. Marwaha Kirhan’s name was drawn in the members’ drawing, but Marwaha was not at the meeting