100th Anniversary Banquet
The Holyoke Revolver Club’s 100th Anniversary banquet was held in October. More than 200 club members and guests enjoyed a buffet dinner at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee and socialized as a slide show featured photographs from the club’s long history. The prize table held dozens of items, including a half-dozen firearms, and reloading and shooting gear as well as hats and T-shirts from manufacturers. GOAL Executive Director Jim Wallace and State Senator Don Humason spoke, and Joe Knapik was master of ceremonies.
Friends of NRA Gun-A-Day Tickets
The annual Gun-A-Day raffle of the Pioneer Valley chapter of the Friends of NRA will take place in March. Tickets are $25 and available from Debbie and Pete Galenski as well as George Apgar. Every day in March a new gun will be awarded to the holder of the ticket that matches the first three digits of the Mass. Evening lottery draw. Proceeds from the Friends of NRA fundraisers benefit local clubs, youth education, range development and conservation programs. The club has received several grants for the junior shooters and range improvements.
Western Mass. Pistol League
The annual matches of the WMPL are continuing through the winter. 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 building and also appear on each membership card. Closing time is not flexible.
Officers reelected at the November meeting include President Norm Desilets, Vice President Joe Knapik, Treasurer Paul Cadorette, Secretary Rich Asselin and Membership Secretary Bill Burgess. Pete Galenski and Bruce Hermans were elected to three-year terms on the board of directors. The position of club governor had no candidates, and will be filled later.
Membership Secretary Bill Burgess is accepting 2015 dues payments. 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. 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.
Joining the club in October were Ken and Nancy Hebert, Daniel Spinks, Scott Roth and Tom Serricicchio, all of Chicopee, Richard Houle, Robert Tobin and Carl Schortmann, all of Holyoke, James O’Donnell of Easthampton, Linda Green and Ronald Pike, both of Southampton, Ryan Kearney of West Springfield and junior shooter Sam Bernash of South Hadley.
Joining in November were Mark Gubala, David Baker and Kyle Jourdain, all of Holyoke, Nancy Stebbins of Westfield, Patrick Carpenter of West Springfield, Ronald Chateneuf of Easthampton and Kathleen Winkler of Southampton.
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.
National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners’ Action League
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.
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.
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.
NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course
Holyoke Revolver Club conducts an NRA Basic Pistol Shooting 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
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 Rifle Range
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.
Danny DiRicco won $62.50 in the raffle at the October meeting. Kathleen Haglund’s and Deborah Reardon’s names were drawn in the members’ drawing, but they were not at the meeting.
Dan Jones won $80 in the 50/50 raffle at the November meeting.
New member Kyle Jourdain won $500 in the members’ drawing. Csrolyn Hamel’s and Fred Suprenant’s names were also drawn, but they were not at the meeting.