Despite being a marketing major, Cody Pedulla, a Minatare, Neb., senior, couldn't move all of the $20 raffle tickets he had committed to sell for the Fort Hays State University Shooting Club. He ended up buying seven of them himself, for a cool $140.
However, at the club's drawing recently at Joe Bob's Outfitters, Hays, the winning ticket-- drawn by Dr. Jeff Briggs, dean of FHSU's College of Health and LIfe Sciences, from a bucket held above his head -- was one of those seven, and Pedulla, who was present with several other club members, was able to walk away with a 2012 Winchester Model 70 Jack O'Connor Tribute rifle, chambered for the .270 Winchester cartridge, with a retail value of more than $1,800. It was one of a handful of rifles built by Winchester to honor a renowned hunting and shooting author.
The rifle was donated to the club by the MidwayUSA Foundation, Columbia, Mo., which encourages and supports shooting teams at universities and colleges. From the sale of tickets, the FHSU Shooting Club raised $7,000. Half the money went to the club's account at the Midway Foundation. The $3,500 was matched 3 to 1 by the foundation for long-term club support.
The remaining $3,500 stayed with the club. Club sponsor Dr. Duane Shepherd, associate professor of health and human performance, said the money will be used to pay entry fees for shooting team members at the national tournament this summer. Shooters in that tournament participate in six events: American trap, American skeet, international trap, international skeet, five-stand and sporting clays.
"The entry fee is $60 for each event, so that makes $360 for each shooter," said Shepherd. "That's a lot for a college student."
He said from 12 to 14 members of FHSU's team will compete, "depending on how they are shooting," so the club's $3,500 share of the proceeds from the drawing will just about cover the entry fees.
The club's trust fund with the MidwayUSA Foundation is now more than $130,000, said Shepherd. The team can draw 5 percent a year for its expenses.