The club recently contracted with a professional cleaning company to do a thorough cleaning of the range, and has begun improvements on the backstop and surrounding walls. Major renovations are in the planning stage.
The Holyoke Police Department has begun annual qualifications for its 100+ officers, usually on Wednesdays on the indoor range. The police have exclusive use of the range during their training sessions, but club members may use the outdoor ranges or wait for the officers to finish.
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 certified instructors and range officers. Recent sessions have been postponed by weather. Signup information is on the club website.
Range Safety Officers
Thirteen new RSOs were certified at a training session in January. Another course is planned for the spring. Range safety officers are a vital component of the club’s training courses, and members are encouraged to volunteer.
Club Scrapbook Missing
In 2014 the club celebrated its 100th anniversary, and as part of the celebration HRC members compiled a scrapbook of photographs, news clippings and other memorabilia. The book has apparently been borrowed, and must be returned as soon as possible.
The club has applied for an NRA Foundation grant to construct a safety berm down the middle of the 50-yard range. This would allow for two activities to take place safely at the same time. The board of directors is planning a study of major improvements and updates for the indoor range. Also in the works are steel targets for the 100-yard range.
A new handicapped parking pad is ready for use by members and guests. Funding was provided by a $4500 grant from the Friends of NRA. On the 50-yard outdoor range, the club has installed two new dueling trees and a new concrete pad at the firing line. No centerfire rifles may be used on the new equipment. The club is planning to purchase heavier steel targets for use on the 100-yard rifle range.
NRA and GOAL
Ed Pelland has received an Outstanding Service Award from the National Rifle Association in recognition of his recruiting work. Ed has been among the top ten recruiters nationally, and for years has taken the floor at club meetings to encourage HRC members to join the NRA as well as the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts. Lately he shares this role 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.
Western Mass Pistol League
The annual awards banquet of the Western Mass. Pistol League will be April 8. The annual matches will continue through March. All matches are held at the club, beginning at 6:30 on Monday evenings. The schedule is on the bulletin board and website, and bullseye practice is held on Friday evenings. Ron Mehlhorn and Pete Galenski are co-captains and will have banquet tickets. The event is open to all club members and their guests.
The club has a full calendar of competition and training events, all staffed by volunteers. With 700 members and growing, the club needs more volunteers to assist at the activities. Anyone who can contribute some time should contact the club through the website or the club phone at 539-9345.
The junior rifle program is up and running. Details are on the club website. Mike Heisler is in charge.
Joining the club at the January meeting were Nicholas Andreopoulos and Joanne and Sebastian Brunell, all of Longmeadow, Brian Belliveau and Nicholas Wyckmans of Easthampton, Cara Seidel and Cameron Pinkham, both of Chicopee, Daniel Covington, Nicholas Bustamante and Scott Kosak, all of Holyoke, Anthony Depalo and Michelle Bailey of Agawam, Raymond Stevens, Edward Germain and Aaron Desnoyers of West Springfield, Bettylou and John Lanney, Sr. of South Hadley, Michael Wallace of Springfield and Joseph Bailey of Southwick. New members joining at the February meeting include Keith Darnold, Erich Dittrich amd Philip Murphy, all of Holyoke, James and Rose Oleksak and Jamie Beaudry of Westfield, Robert Zimmerman and Lisa and Bruce Vachon, all of Chicopee, Elizabeth Bennett, Michael Hogan and Michael Donais, all of Southampton, James Lawrence of West Springfield, Jasmine Barreto of Springfield, Michael Sugrue of Florence, Austen Iglehart of Hadley, Lance Nikewicz of Southwick and junior members Jameson Stuck of Westfield and JamieLynn Felleter of Chicopee.
Jen Downer won $30 in the 50/50 raffle at the February meeting. Richard Rudzik’s name was drawn in the members’ raffle, but he was not present.