Catch a New Crowd
Archery, trap, golf events draw folks who don’t normally attend a banquet
By Bill Christensen, Utah Regional Director
Once your chapter has a successful banquet for the year—then what? For volunteers wondering what to do when the party is over, meet with your regional director or leadership team members and get creative.
Figure out your passions and dive in to planning a second event fueled by what you love to do. You can start small, there’s always room to grow.
In Utah, chapters have organized highly successful trap shoots, archery shoots and golf tournaments. The common theme they notice, in addition to raising additional funds, is that these events attract a crowd different than those who show up for a banquet. And introducing these people to what the RMEF does can mean better relationships in the years to come.
The Salt Lake City chapter organized a small trap shoot with 50 or 60 shooters, but that was more than 10 years ago. Then rumor spread. Now about 250 shooters enjoy the “Targeting for Habitat” shoot every year, which has become one of the biggest shooting sports event held by RMEF in the country.
“We’ve always loved the competition and sport of trap shooting, so why not have a fun shoot with raffles, silent auction and card and shooting games?” says Dean Brems, who helped established the event along with state leadership team members Ken Young and Larry Leaver. Brems is a champion trap shooter who, along with his wife Christie and their family, has been shooting trap competitively for almost 20 years, so they know the intricacies of the sport.
The RMEF trap shoot has grown into an event that averages $12,000 to $15,000 in net proceeds and, in addition to the monetary profits, also attracts folks who never attend banquets. Last year, this event generated five Life members.
“The connection to archery shooting has been left out of some of our chapters. Bow hunting creates an opportunity to introduce the mission and values of the RMEF to individuals that may not be members or who may not understand what we do at the RMEF,” says RMEF volunteer Jeff Jewkes.
Jewkes just organized the second annual Utah County Chapter Archery Shoot that attracted more than 100 shooters at the end of May. He feels events like these interest a new group of people, something we shouldn’t overlook. With five or six memberships sold, more than $3,000 gained in net revenue and four upcoming banquet tickets sold, this first year event was a success.
“Archery shooting is attracting many young, 18- to 35-year-old hunters who need to be part of the RMEF family,” he says.
Started as a way to get the RMEF name out to the public, the annual Golden Spike chapter golf tournament does just that. The event attracts a crowd that might not otherwise attend a banquet.
“I wanted to get the Golden Spike chapter’s name out there to people other than the banquet crowd,” says Jen Chavez, Odgen’s Golden Spike chair who led organization for the second annual tournament. “This is a great opportunity to preach the RMEF gospel, in hopes to draw new memberships and connections. We are getting new donors and benefits to help both our banquet and our golf tournament!”
In addition to the Golden Spike chapter, the St. George chapter in southern Utah also has pioneered successful golf events for RMEF. These events generated a half-dozen memberships sold and future commitments to attend the banquet, along with merchandise donations.