Don Ballou Award
Dave Sparko and Dan Jones received the club’s prestigious Don Ballou Award for outstanding service at the January meeting. Dave is the Director of Fun and conducts fun shoots on alternate Tuesday nights. Dan organizes the club’s practical shoots and designs interesting scenarios for the monthly contests.
HRC will hold a training course for new Range Safety Officers on February 3. Interested parties should contact Vice President Bruce Hermans. The club’s RSO’s assist the instructors and the trainees during Basic Pistol courses as well as in the First Shots and Shooting 101 courses. 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.
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.
The Holyoke Police Department will be conducting annual qualification sessions during February and March. The South Hadley PD and Holyoke Community College Police will also hold qualifications at HRC in the coming months. The police agencies 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 training dates will be posted on the calendar when set.
50-yard Berm Construction
The project to build an earth berm separating the 50-yard range should begin later this month or the beginning of February. Dietz Corp. of Ludlow is the contractor. 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.
NRA Basic Pistol Course
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.
Nicholas Yee and Mike Mastroianni of Holyoke, Jeffrey Jasinski, Sarah White and Michael Adam, all of West Springfield, Giovanni Basile of East Longmeadow, Junior member Jeffrey Page of South Hadley, Timothy Judd and junior member Joshua Rodriguez of Southampton, Felix Ayala of Springfield, Gerald Auth of Westfield and JoAnn Sullivan of Lee all joined the club at the January meeting.
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 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.
NRA and GOAL
The club encourages its members to join the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts. Ed Pelland and
Carl Eger are the club’s recruiters for both organizations, and sit at the table at the back of the room during monthly meetings. They offer NRA memberships at a discount, and the NRA returns rebates of $5 and $10 for renewals and new memberships. The rebates are donated to the junior programs.
Carl Eger won $43 in the 50/50 raffle in January. Enrique Gonzalez’s name was drawn in the members’ raffle, but he was not at the meeting.