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 will be $120, spouses and seniors will pay $60, and juniors will be eligible to join at no cost after taking the safety course. The decision to drop the $25 fee for juniors was based on new grant eligibility rules established by the NRA Foundation. New members will pay full fees until the July meeting, when new members’ dues will be cut in half for the remainder of the year, and new members joining in December will only pay the next year’s dues. 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.
Election of Officers
In November the club’s annual meeting and election of officers was held at the Holyoke Knights of Columbus with a large turnout. Newly-elected officers include Joe Knapik as president, Bruce Hermans as vice-president and Cathy Wauczinski and Amy Burgess as members of the board of directors. Re-elected were Rich Asselin as secretary, Ron Chateauneuf as treasurer, Tom Serrichio as club governor and Bill Burgess as membership secretary. Dave Sparko will continue as Director of Fun.
Western Mass. Pistol League
The bullseye matches of the 2017 – 2018 WMPL have begun. The club competes against other local clubs in weekly .22 gallery matches. All matches are held on Monday nights at Holyoke. New shooters are encouraged to join in. Practice sessions are held on Friday evenings beginning at 6. Ron Mehlhorn and Pete Galenski are co-captains.
After seeking multiple bids, the board recently voted to replace the old dual-fuel furnace with a high-efficiency two-stage propane unit and a second propane tank to be furnished and installed by Fuel Services, Inc. of South Hadley at a cost of $7560.
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 recently held its first women-only shooting session, and there are plans to continue the program 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. The get-togethers are informal, and details are on the club website.
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 see Ralph Rechenberger or one of the officers.
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.
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.
New Plate Racks
The club has purchased and installed two new sets of falling plate racks on the outdoor pistol range. The plates may only be used with pistols, revolvers and .22 rimfire rifles, not centerfire rifles or shotguns.
The Holyoke Police Department has begun annual qualifications, usually on Thursdays on the A-B ranges. South Hadley PD is holding its qualifications on Wednesdays, usually outdoors on the 50 yd range. The police 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.
NRA Basis of Pistol Shooting Course
The club offers the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course on the third Saturday of every month. Successful completion provides the students with the credentials to apply for Massachusetts firearm licenses. The 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 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. 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.