Rain doesn’t dampen spirit at annual Turkey Shoot

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 8, 2015

A little rain didn’t deter a gun-toting group from raising money for a local elementary school.

Redwood Elementary hosted their annual Turkey Shoot at the school Saturday in a heavy downpour.

The Turkey Shoot had 20 posts marked with targets and shooters got five shots a round with each shot up for a cash prize. The closest shot to the center of a plus sign target and the person with the most pellets inside the center circle target won $10.

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“They bring their gun, we provide everything else,” principal Buddy Wooten said.

Each shot cost $2 for a ticket that was also entered into a raffle. Raffle winners received $500 for first place, $250 for second and $100 for third.

A lot of the people participating Saturday said they had been coming out for years like Rusty Clay who said it’s not about winning money but it’s all about the school, the children and having fun. He has attended the event at least 10 times and planned to take 10 shots with is .410 single shot, which he was using because of the weather.

“You don’t want to mess up a good gun in the rain,” Clay said. “You can’t tear one of these up.”

This fundraiser has been a tradition at the school for the last 42 years, and PTO president Albert Hossley said this was the first rainy shoot in 31 years. The number of shooters wasn’t quite as high as years past, but there were plenty of people taking their aim.

“It’s hindered a few people. Usually we have 100 people here right now trying to shoot,” Hossley said.

The school typically makes $15,000-$20,000 in the single day including the money raised at the student’s fall carnival, which occurs simultaneously with the shoot.

“This is all about raising money for the children,” Wooten said.

Getting the majority of their fundraising efforts out of the way on one day is a relief to administrators and parents who only have to deal with a few smaller fundraisers during the year.

“It kind of totes our school and our PTO for the year,” Wooten said. “We may do some smaller fundraisers, but really everything is centered around the Turkey Shoot.”

The carnival is an outdoor affair, but this year it was moved indoors and took place all over the school with a book fair in the library, bingo in the cafeteria and a dart throw at balloons in the hallway. Individual games were set up in classrooms like a cakewalk, chicken walk, ceiling tile painting and fishing for prizes plus multiple beanbag tosses, wheel spins and Nerf gun shoots in the auditorium. Children tried their best to win plastic toys, candy and bouncy balls.

Tickets at the carnival were 4 for $1 and the students spent their tickets to participate in the games.

“It’s just exciting to see them outside of school on a Saturday with their parents excited about everything,” Shonda Morson, a first grade teacher at Redwood, said. Her classroom was trading tickets for temporary tattoos.

This was fifth grader Jamiyah Gains’ first year to participate in the carnival, and she had fun partaking in a lot of the activities like golf and shooting through hoops.

John Wyatt Massey-Ford had fun winning a lot of sweet treats during his day at the carnival with his family. As a fourth grader, he has come to the carnival every year since he has been a student.

“First I went outside to shot the gun, and then I went in the auditorium and played games,” Massey-Ford said. “We did the cakewalk and now we’re doing the chicken walk.”

First grade teacher Lois Martin said the carnival was packed with families spending time together, and the rain didn’t hurt the festivities too much.

“It’s a family thing is what it is,” Martin said. “For 40 years I’ve been coming down here.”