It’s time to get your tickets for the Wallowa County Friends of NRA Annual Auction and Banquet at Cloverleaf Hall, Saturday, Oct. 21, beginning 4 p.m.
The banquet sells out each year, often in very short order, so getting tickets early is advised. Because the banquet features a huge variety of raffles, ticket prices vary according to how many tickets attendees wish to buy in advance. The fee for dinner is $45 per person.
Attendees spent more than $18,000 on the raffles in 2016 and won 64 guns and dozens of other prizes.
The event grossed $100,000 in 2016, with half of that money going to the Oregon Friends of NRA State Fund Committee from which grants and scholarships are awarded.
Grants in Wallowa County included $40,000 in donations to Divide Camp (a hunting camp for disabled veterans) including a $15,000 donation for an all-terrain track wheelchair in 2014; grants to Creating Memories (a hunting and fishing organization for disabled individuals); approximately $128,000 for range improvements for Eagle Cap Shooters Association; a grant to the Wallowa Rod and Gun Club to expand its clubhouse; and eight $1,000 merit scholarships for local high school seniors.
In 2014 Katie Birkmaier of Enterprise, Morgan Waters of Wallowa and Emily Spang of Wallowa all were awarded scholarships. This year scholarships will be increased to $1,500 per student.
Organizers of the Wallowa County event estimate more than $200,000 in grants and scholarships have come back to the county over the years.
Many local businesses and individuals support the event through donations of goods for the raffles in addition to goods donated by name-brand manufacturers of firearms and hunting-related items and trips provided by hunting guides from Africa to Alaska.
This year the raffle trips will include New Zealand and Africa as well as an Alaskan fishing trip.
Tickets, raffle and dinner packages or purchase a sponsorship table, visit friendsofnra.org; or contact Doug Wickre at 541-398-8867 or Doug Batten at 541-426-4639. Wallowa County Friends of NRA is also on Facebook.