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Shotgun Salute to benefit Honor Veteran Legacies

ATHENS – A new recreational competition will gauge the marksmanship of competitors, while raising funds for a veterans’ organization.

The inaugural Shotgun Salute Sporting Clay Fundraiser will benefit Honoring Veteran Legacies’ mission to honor senior veterans in their communities and beyond and to guard and preserve their legacies for future generations.

“We’re not only filming veterans’ stories, but we are pairing the interviews with engaging video (“B-roll”) and lesson plans in many subjects . . . not just history,” Elaine Oakes said. Oakes is Co-Founder and Vice President of Honoring Veteran Legacies.

“Our purpose is to have our heroes’ stories influence the younger generations in unexpected ways — perhaps they’ll learn about V-mail in English class, study trajectories in geometry or (discover) a weatherman’s predictions for D-Day in a science class studying climate,” Oakes said. “Our plan is to have an educational website with free access for teachers.”

“With only one percent of our young people serving in the military, we don’t want to ever forget the service and sacrifice from our veterans of World War II, the Korean war and Vietnam (and more recent conflicts). Often times, history teachers don’t have time to get to the later conflicts of the 20th century. This way our students have exposure and interrupt learning patterns to make them more impactful,” Oakes said.

The event venue will be Old South Clays shooting/hunting range at 27246 Wooley Springs Road in Athens. Start time will be 2 p.m. on Sept. 16. Admission tickets and preregistration will be required.

“Not only will participants shoot clay targets, but they’ll also enjoy interacting with our senior veterans at the stations. Our goal is to have veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam at every station spread out over the course. Afterward, they’ll get a barbecue dinner including dessert,” Oakes said.

“We’ll also have silent auction items up for bid and live music. Some of our veterans really like to ‘cut a rug!’ Folks who don’t wish to participate in the shoot (spouses) can be spectators and come to the dinner afterward,” Oakes said. For separate registration for these tickets, visit shotgunsalute.eventbrite.com.

“This area is rich with events that honor our heroes, but often the dinners are $100 a plate. Our senior veterans can’t afford that. So sometimes funds allow them to participate,” Oakes said.

Groups, business owners, companies, organizations, bands, sports groups or individuals can show support and join in a fun outing with an evening of good company.

Teams can have four shooters, or individuals can enter. Each person can have 100 clay targets but must bring shells and guns.

At 1 p.m., teams will meet and complete an equipment check. The competition will run from 2 to 5 p.m., and teams then will relax at the barn. A barbecue dinner at 5:30 p.m. will include live music. Silent auction bids will end at 7:30 p.m.

At 8:30 p.m., winners will receive their prizes. The dance will offer a fun way to end the day.

Honoring Veteran Legacies also wants to take small day trips to museums and places with military artifacts and displays. “A group recently enjoyed a joint trip with Legacy 4 Korean War Veterans to Washington D.C. for unveiling and dedication of the Korean Wall of Remembrance . . . a trip made possible by this community,” Oakes said. Volunteers who attended paid their expenses.

“We might consider future larger trips. But our big focus is really the preservation of their legacies so their sacrifices and lessons of patriotism, commitment and service are not forgotten, especially after they are no longer with us,” Oakes said. “This will be accomplished through the educational website. Each video costs between $1,000 and $1,500 to produce to the (desired) quality. We’re still accepting sponsors. They can email info@honoringveteranlegacies.org.”

For more information about the event, visit eventbrite.com, and type “Inaugural Shotgun Salute” in the “Search event” box. Click the event in the list.

For more information, call 931-409-3812, email info@honoringveteranlegacies.org or visit honoringveteranlegacies.org.

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