Friends of NRA Banquet
The 24th annual Pioneer Valley Friends of NRA banquet will be held Friday, May 5 at the Castle of Knights on Memorial Drive in Chicopee. The event will feature a buffet dinner as well as raffles, auctions and door prizes for accessories, books, jewelry and more than 40 firearms. The Friends of NRA is a 501 (c.)(3) charitable organization that raises funds for a wide range of firearm-related public interest activities including programs for women and youth, safety, hunting, marksmanship, competition and law enforcement as well as range development and improvements. Tickets are $40 and are available from Peter and Debbie Galenski, Roland Menard and George Apgar, as well as at the club office. The club has received more than $30,000 in grants, and HRC members have filled several tables at the banquet annually.
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 offers basic pistol training courses 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 the third Saturday of ever month with lunch provided. Details and signup applications are on the club’s website.
The club holds familiarization courses for members and non-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.
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.
Indoor Range Maintenance.
The indoor range requires weekly cleaning and maintenance. This will be done every Monday from 9:00 am to 12:00 am. The indoor range will be closed every week at this time . All outside ranges will be open.
Please check the club’s website calendar before leaving home when planning on shooting in the indoor range. We thank you for your cooperation.
The board of directors is planning a study of major improvements and updates for the indoor range. The board recently voted to purchase a smoke machine to monitor airflow patterns on the indoor range for the purpose of improving ventilation.
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. 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 February meeting were Marek Wolanczyk, Adam Dunne and Paul Fionte, all of Holyoke, Rick Shattuck and Doris Tomestic, both of Chicopee, Denise Quisenberry and Marie and Guy Kenison, all of Springfield, Suzanne Bergeron anf Ryan Lafond, both of South Hadley, Brian Perdue and Deborah Cubi, both of West Springfield, Jessica Przybycien of Southampton, Srah Driscoll of Easthampton, James Gero of Montgomery and junior members Nicholas Morton of Southampton and Aidan and Liam Sugrue of Florence.
Ron Chateauneauf won $20 in the 50/50 raffle at the February meeting, and Betty Lou Lanney’s name was drawn in the members’ raffle, but she was not at the meeting.