Will Rogers famously never met a man he didn’t like. I feel the same way about Friends of NRA dinners. There’s something about being around dozens (or hundreds) of your fellow NRA members, raising money for a good cause and having a good time doing it, that revitalizes and energizes me. And yes, I’m writing about this because my local (Heart of Virginia chapter) Friends of NRA dinner took place not long ago.
I’ve been to Friends of NRA dinners all across the country over the years and I’ve never had a bad time, but there’s something special about your hometown event. Even in a small town like Farmville, Va., you’re likely to meet a gun owner and NRA member you haven’t run across before, and chances are he or she has an interesting story or two to tell. At our most recent dinner, I had the pleasure of talking to university professors, military veterans, small business owners, a teacher or two, a realtor, an outfitter and a law enforcement officer, among others. Most of them grew up around firearms, and they knew that by supporting endeavors like the local 4-H Shooting Sports program and the Boy Scouts, they were passing along that knowledge and responsibility to the next generation.
That next generation was also present and accounted for at the dinner. We heard from a young man, our local representative to the state Youth Education Summit (a civics program sponsored by the NRA), who described his weekend in the state’s capitol, complete with a visit to the capitol complex, dinners and range time alongside many other Virginia youth. When he announced to the room that he’d be attending the National Youth Education Summit as Virginia’s representative, the crowd cheered his accomplishment, and my wife leaned over to ask if our son in high school was old enough to apply for the program next year. He is, and I’d be thrilled if he had the chance to attend. The YES program is just one of many valuable projects funded by the proceeds raised at your local Friends of NRA dinner.
Chances are there’s a dinner near you coming up in the not-too-distant future. You can check out a complete listing of Friends of NRA dinners in your area here. Make the time to attend a dinner and you’ll likely find yourself looking for other Friends events not too far away. It’s easy to get hooked when it’s such a good time. And I haven’t even mentioned the games, raffles and auctions that are the real centerpiece of every dinner. I won a very cool piece of Charlton Heston memorabilia during the auction at this year’s dinner, and I’m sure I’ll be bidding on an item or two at next year’s dinner as well.
One more note about the Friends of NRA dinners: They’re run by local NRA members in your community, all of them volunteering their time and effort to put on a great party. Make sure you take the time to tell them “thanks” at your local dinner. And if you can volunteer even a few hours a month to help make your local dinner even better, you might find that to be almost as much fun as the dinner itself!