By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Event Supports Local Youth Program

 

Forrest Hershberger

Greg Huck submits a bid for a silent auction item during the April 28 Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry fundraiser dinner at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds.

Nearly 350 people turned out in support of the Sidney Shooting Park Saturday evening.

The annual banquet of Rocky Mountain Oysters or breaded chicken and all of the fixings was held at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds. This is the eighth banquet for the program. The evening included raffles and drawings including dollar raffles by the 4-H kids, drawings for firearms and silent auction items.

 Proceeds go to funding equipment and range improvements at the Sidney Shooting Park, and to fund the youth shooting education programs in Cheyenne County.

"The weather cooperated and we had a great turnout again this year," said SSP organization president Sean Streff. "It is great to see the community support our youth shooting programs and i want to thank all of the sponsors and donors along with the parents that made this event a success."

The shooting instruction programs are offered through the Cheyenne County Extension Office and classes are conducted by certified instructors.

Because Cheyenne County has so many small towns that don't have enough students to support individual high school programs, all youth ages 8 to 18 who are enrolled in a public school or are enrolled in a home-school program in the county are eligible to take part in the Sidney Sharpshooters 4-H group.


Currently, youth programs include BB-gun, archery, .22 rimfire rifle and trap shooting. Only the trap shooting takes place at Sidney Shooting Park. However, most of the 4-H instructors are SSP members. Classes for the BB gun and archery programs, held in February, take place at the fairgrounds because of the weather. The .22 rimfire classes are held at a gravel pit outside of Sidney.

The Sidney Shooting Park currently does not have a rifle or pistol range.

The Sidney Shooting Park has two funds specifically earmarked for 4-H youth shooting programs, the Jim Pohl Memorial Fund and the Lenard Dickinson Memorial Fund. The Jim Pohl Memorial Fund will provide more than $9,000 for the Sidney Sharpshooters 4-H Trap Shoot program this year. The funds will cover the cost of three rounds of clay targets and ammunition per shooter per week during the 13-week season. The program currently has 25 youth shooters taking part in the 2018 Spring Trap season. This year the funds also paid for new backdrops for the Sidney Sharpshooters 4-H Gun Program as well as four new BB guns last year.

In addition, the Sidney Shooting Park organization raises funds through grants. The National Wild Turkey Federation awarded the organization a $500 grant to purchase four new Crickett rifles for the .22 rimfire rifle program that is due to start May 12.


Generally, the only cost to parents is the $10 registration fee each year to become a member of the 4-H group. The trap shooting program does cost extra; only the clay targets and ammunition are covered in practices. If club members want to participate in the optional regional trap meets held on Saturdays during the 13-week season, they have to provide their own ammunition for practices on Thursday nights and for the meets.

Forrest Hershberger

An estimated 350 people turned out Saturday, April 28, for the Sidney Shooting Park Rocky Mountain Oyster fry at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds.

 

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