Doing Good and Having Fun: The 2016 Think of the Children IDPA Benefit Match
Competitive shooting isn’t just about shooting a lot and trying to win bragging rights and prizes. One of the things that I and many others love about the shooting sports is the community, even family, that can be found on the range. While you may already know that gun owners are some of the friendliest people around, competitors can take it to another level entirely.
One way they do so is by using matches as fundraising events. There are several of these, including (at random) the Ryan Rocks Charity Blast benefitting Ryan Rocks Outdoor Adventures and their mission to send kids with cancer on hunting, fishing, zip lining, and other outdoors fun trips, and the A3G Salute to Valor, where teams of shooters battle it out to benefit six different military veterans’ charities. This past weekend, I attended the Think of the Children Benefit Match, hosted by the Lewistown Pistol Club in Central Pennsylvania.
The Think of the Children Benefit Match isn’t special just because of its mission, though. It’s also a great shooting experience. The stages this year covered a variety of International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) stage “types” and tested all sorts of shooting skills.
Annette Evans shooting Stage 6, a defensive scenario for a shooter working from home
Among other things, competitors were required to shoot: at targets from just one to two yards away and out to 33 yards; at moving targets; while moving; from a seated or kneeling position, over and around barricades; with both right hand only and left hand only; after dropping bags; starting with an unloaded gun in a box; and in the dark, with flashlights so that targets could be seen.
Annette Evans shooting Stage 4, a mugging scenario at the local amusement park
After three days of shooting, just over one hundred shooters completed the Think of the Children Benefit Match. Congratulations to all of the winners: Bob White (CDP Division Champion), A.J. Stuart (ESP Division Champion), Matt Olinchak (SSP Division Champion), Richard Barker (CCP Division Champion), William Clayton (Revolver Division Champion), Frank Gianino (Most Accurate), Ryan Mulholland (High Junior), Vaughn Lynn (High Senior), Peter Hoffman (High Distinguished Senior), Annette Evans (High Lady) (that’s me!), Raymond Pescatore (High Law Enforcement), Corey Mulholland (High Military), and A.J. Stuart (High Industry). And congratulations to all of the shooters and staff, for supporting such a great cause!