By Dorothy Bliskey, Photography by Travis Pohl
The Horicon Marsh Bowmen Club – an archery club located near Mayville with close to 100 members – will host a National Breast Cancer Foundation Benefit shoot on August 27. The fundraiser is part of a nationwide contest known as “I Shoot for the Girls.”
Reiny Kuechler of Mayville, chairman of the event, launched the local fun-filled day of competitions six years ago after meeting the president of the “Shoot Like a Girl” organization at its national contest. “I competed at their national event. So did my two daughters and my son who placed as one of the top five finalists in the nation,” Kuechler said, noting he’s been running the contest at Horicon Marsh Bowmen Club annually ever since. “It’s a lot of fun and a very worthwhile cause.”
All of the funds raised at the event go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for research and early detection screening.
Committee member Beverly Christian of Mayville is proud to be a female archer and also to be helping with the event. “It touches my family and me personally due to the passing of several relatives, not only from breast cancer, but other cancers as well,” Christian said. “Being a part of this event makes you realize just how many people in our community want to help stomp out this disease and, at the same time, enjoy the sport of archery.”
The event includes both indoor and outdoor target shooting as a way to raise funds. However, it’s the indoor shoot that is sanctioned by the National Breast Cancer Foundation through Shoot Like a Girl.
At the indoor shooting range, participants who line up in a row take aim at a pink ribbon target — the symbol for breast cancer. Each person gets to shoot a total of 40 times. Scores are tabulated and sent into the national Shoot Like a Girl organization which awards certificates of achievement to the top three U.S. shooters in each age division which includes men, women, juniors (15-17), youth (12-14), and cubs (12 and under).
Christian explains that the committee created additional opportunities to shoot at targets as a way to raise even more funds. “We have a 3-D outdoor course with 28 targets placed throughout paths in the woods. As you walk through the woods, you have a chance to shoot at all 28 targets.”
Novelty shoots are another activity that generates funds and is fun for all ages – especially first-time shooters.
“We have four-year-olds and grandparents entering the novelty shoot,” Kuechler said. “It’s designed so the whole family can get involved.”
The Novelty Shoot is comprised of various characters with moving symbols as the target. For example, there’s Mickey Mouse holding a balloon that moves up and down, and the balloon is the target. Another is a card game where the participant shooting the best poker hand wins.
“There’s also a steel deer with a hole where you should normally shoot the deer,” Christian said. “If your arrow misses the hole, it makes a loud clanging sound.”
Six novelty shoots have a 50-50 payout, meaning half of the money goes to the winner and the other half to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, according to Kuechler.
Food, which is served all day long and includes hot sandwiches, snacks, and homemade bars and other goodies, is also a big part of the event. It helps raise funds for the cause. “All of the food is donated and 100 percent of the money we bring in for the food goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation,” Christian said. “We don’t keep any of it.”
A raffle and door prize drawing are another facet. “There will be lots of great door prizes with the drawing occurring at 4 p.m. that day,” Christian said.
Last year the club raised nearly $5,000 at the event.
“Shoot Like a Girl is all about empowering women to shoot,” Kuechler said. “Anyone can come and participate in the event — even if they want to try archery for the first time. It’s just a lot of fun and a unique way to help fight breast cancer.”
NOTE: The event takes place Saturday, August 27 from 8a.m. to 3p.m. at the Horicon Marsh Bowmen Club located at N7240 County Trunk V, Mayville, Wisconsin. For more information on the event, call (920) 319-2696or visit www.horiconmarshbowmen.com. For information on the national contest and Shoot Like a Girl organization, go to www.shootlikeagirl.com.