The 2016 Think Of The Children IDPA Benefit Match

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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 2016 Think Of The Children IDPA Benefit Match, see more at:

A shooting standards stage (Stage 10), with targets between 5 and 33 yards, at the 2016 Think of the Children Benefit Match

Now in its fifth year, the Think of the Children Benefit Match donates proceeds from match fees and additional donations from match sponsors and shooters to the Prayer Child Foundation. The Foundation provides grants to families with children who have physical or emotional challenges, focusing on those families who are local to the Foundation’s supporters. Match Director Ronald Singer, Jr., is a long-time personal donor to the Foundation and founded this match in order to raise additional funds for them.
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.

THe 2016 Think Of The Children IDPA Benefit Match, see more at:

The targets on Stage 7 were visible only with a flashlight

Some of the targets were hidden behind “no-shoots” that incurred a penalty if hit or had portions that were blacked out to limit available scoring zones. These are all part of what makes an IDPA match more exciting than just going to a regular range and shooting at a paper target.

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!

The 2016 Think Of The Children IDPA Benefit Match, see more at:

The author’s High Lady trophy, with the SIG SAUER P320 she used to win it

Charity matches like this can be a great motivation for getting into competitive shooting. If you’re interested, keep following along with me and I’ll help you understand all of the jargon and how to get started and improve.

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