In conjunction with the more than 25 scheduled Fort Hays State University Homecoming activities Oct. 7-10, the Hays community is targeting visitors and residents by offering several activities.
" We get a lot of calls about people planning their activities around Oktoberfest," said Ruben Schuckman, tourism marketing manager at the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau, on the community offering activities during Homecoming weekend.
Perhaps the most anticipated event is the Jarett Lee Worley Memorial Shoot at 1 p.m. both Oct. 9 and 10, at the skeet Range of Hays, Hays City Sportsmens Club, 5810 230th Ave. (a quarter-mile north or Interstate 70, exit 157). The range is across the driveway on the north side of Celebration Community Church.
The memorial will feature a firing demonstration by John Satterwhite, a nationally renowned trick shooter and three-time National Rifle Association international skeet champion.
Satterwhite is the only active trick shooter to hand toss seven clay targets into the air, raise his shotgun behind his back or below his belt and successfully hit all seven targets before they land.
Satterwhite, 11-time All America Team member, is also the only shooter ever to win three consecutive U.S. International Clay Target championships. He is a 12-time medal winner for the U.S. World Competition.
The demonstration is named after Jarett Lee Worley, a 15-year old who died after rolling his pickup.
Before and after Satterwhites's performances, the public will have a chance to fire some of the shotguns built by Beretta, the sponsoring company. Five shells can be purchased for $1. No other shells are allowed due to liability reasons. Beretta handguns will also be available for use at the pistol range, after the shoot only. Other than cost of shells, the shoot and demonstration are free.
Leroy Colbreath, vice president of Pheasants Forever, Hays Chapter 424, is responsible for bringing Satterwhite to Hays.
Colbreath said he asked Satterwhite to do a demonstration during Homecoming weekend after he met Satterwhite in Hays over the summer.
While seating is available to the first 300 people, Colbreath said that past demonstrations have not drawn nearly as many people as he hoped.
" We're hoping for 300 each time," he said. "In the past it's been 100-150 that have shown up."
" We're hoping to attract people that enjoy guns and the sport of shooting," Colbreath said. "Plus, it's pretty unique to have someone shoot like he does."
The demonstration is sponsored by Pheasants Forever and Beretta.
Also scheduled during Homecoming Weekend is the Stag & Stagette Mountain Fries Dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in the American Legion, 13th and Canterbury.
Friday, Oct. 8, begins with the Golden Corral/United Way Breakfast at 8 a.m. at Golden Corral, 383 Mopar Drive. Tickets are $5, and proceeds from the breakfast will go to the United Way of Ellis.
Friday evening is the Shooting Stars Singles Square Dance at 7 p.m. in the Roosevelt School Gym, 2000 MacArthur.
Beginning at 11 a.m., Oct. 9, the Humane Society of the High Plains' Adoption Day will showcase animals available for adoption until 3 p.m.
Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., the Hays Skate Park, 29th and Grant, will have a skateboard contest. Prizes will be awarded to the top three skaters in all three divisions. The competition is sponsored by White Chocolate.
Jana Jordan, director of the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau, suggests making lodging reservations early as motels fill up quickly during Homecoming Weekend.
" Sometimes people tend to think that if there's a lot of activities going on during the same day, it draws away from the others. For me, I tend to see it as a drawing card," Schuckman said. "If we can get this material out to visitors from out for town, this will give them a lot of activity and not much downtown. It will be very positive for Hays because they can see what all it has to offer. For me, when I see a full weekend, I get excited."
For more information regarding the community activities, contact the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau by phone at (785) 628-8202 or 1-800-569-8202 or visit the Web site at www.haysusa.net and click on the "Community Events" button.
To view the dates and times of the FHSU Homecoming activities, visit the Web site at www.fhsu.edu/alumni/hc04/hc04schedule.shtml.