Saint Paul, Minn. – February 3, 2011 – Pheasants Forever has received a $1.27 million pledge from Larry and Brenda Potterfield, founders of MidwayUSA, to launch its FOREVER Shooting Sports Program. The funding will help Pheasants Forever achieve its goal of developing a sustainable, comprehensive shooting sports program with its chapters and partners.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s FOREVER Shooting Sports Program will utilize research-based recruitment and retention strategies to introduce up to 20,000 individuals annually to shooting sports through a variety of community based programs and events over the next five years. The program is off and running thanks to the first donation from the Potterfields for $250,000. Dick Leeper, Executive Director of the Midway USA Foundation, presented the check to Pheasants Forever at the organization’s National Pheasant Fest event this past weekend.
“This generous donation from the Potterfields is a direct reflection of the great work Pheasants Forever members, chapters, partners and staff are doing with our No Child Left Indoors® initiative,” said Howard Vincent, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National President and CEO, “We view the FOREVER Shooting Sports Program as a gateway to the outdoors, and a gateway to the world of wildlife habitat conservation.”
“Brenda and I, along with the rest of the folks at MidwayUSA, strongly believe in Pheasants Forever’s habitat mission,” said Larry Potterfield, “We’ve always believed in giving back to conservation organizations. We’re proud to factor in the creation of the FOREVER Shooting Sports Program and look forward to years of great shots and even greater conservationists.”
Models for successful shooting sports programs already exist within Pheasants Forever’s ranks. For example, Pheasants Forever Young Guns is the shooting sports program for the Illinois Pioneer Pheasants Forever chapter. This youth led program offers 12 shooting events per year to novice shooters of all ages and gender, and has grown from 33 to 450 shooters in just 3 years. The fact that youth help plan and facilitate Young Guns shooting events has helped recruit additional youth members, and it also helps them develop the leadership skills they will need as future Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever volunteer conservationists. Through the FOREVER Shooting Sports Program, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever plan to develop up to 10 such “Young Guns” programs annually.
Pheasants Forever also plans to make ammunition and incentive grants available to all 700-plus Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters across the country as part of its FOREVER Shooting Sports Program.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters hold more than 500 youth events annually. For more information, contact Rich Wissink, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever National Youth Programs Specialist, at (715) 722-0286 / Email Rich.
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.