Shooting sports participants from Montezuma who received lifetime achievement challenge coins at the Brownells, Inc. recognition program on Saturday, Nov. 20 are, from left: Houston Van Roekel, Maguire DeJong, Gavin Tindle, Peyton Tindle, Sawyer Tindle, Alex Cheney and Cruz DeJong. Also pictured is a Brownell’s representative.
Photo by Michelle Cheney
By J.O. Parker
Frank and Pete Brownell, owners of Brownells, Inc., have been long-time supporters of SCTP and 4-H shooting sports programs for area youth.
Their support ranges from the use of Brownell’s Big Springs Range near Searsboro to offering clay targets and supplies to shooting sports programs for a fraction over cost. The company also recognizes shooting sports participants with a lifetime achievement challenge coin for shooting 25, 50, 75 and 100 clay targets in a row.
That was the case on Saturday, Nov. 20 when students from Montezuma, Grinnell, North Mahaska and Pella high schools, all of who use Big Springs Range for practice and competition, gathered at Brownells, Inc. in Grinnell to be recognized for reaching one of the four milestones.
Each participant from the four schools who reached the shooting milestone received a challenge coin and a bag full of goodies including a Brownell’s hat, lanyard, bottle of gun oil and other items.
Bryan Stuntebeck, senior vice president of merchandising at Brownells, Inc. and Crow Shooting Supply gave a presentation and handed out the awards.
All totaled, there were 59 shooters from the four schools who shot 25, 50 or 75 clay targets in a row in 2021. All 59 shot 25 clay targets in a row while 12 hit 50 clay targets in a row and four reached the 75 targets in a row milestone. Brownells, Inc. also offers a challenge coin for shooters who reach the 100 target milestone, but no one accomplished that feat last year.
The challenge coin features a broken clay target on one side with the words, 25 straight, 50 straight or 75 straight across the top. The other side of the coin features Big Springs with pheasant artwork.
“The kids were really excited about getting the challenge coins,” said Jeff Molaschi, client relationship director at Brownells, Inc.
Because the coins are considered a lifetime achievement, a shooting sports participant can only receive one coin for each milestone.
There are currently just under 4,000 youth from across Iowa who took part in the SCTP (Scholastic Clay Target Program) and 4-H shooting sports programs last year.
“It is the fastest growing sport in the nation,” Molaschi said.
At Big Spring in 2021, Aaron Williams, range supervisor, said one-half million clay targets were thrown at the range.
When asked, Williams said shooting sports teaches youth personal responsibility, accountability, gun safety and respect for the environment.
“It is Frank and Pete’s way to give back to school communities,” Williams said of the recognition and support of the shooting sports programs in area schools.
Shooting sports participants from Grinnell who received lifetime achievement challenge coins at the Brownells, Inc. recognition program on Saturday, Nov. 20 are, from left: Jaxx Keenan, Jace Wilson, Seth Bauman, Brody Collins, Oliver Louden and Gabe Gilman.
Photo by Jennifer Williams