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I would like to express my deep gratitude to a couple companies that give back to the community.

This past Saturday, the Boy Scouts of San Diego and Imperial Counties, in conjunction with the San Diego County Wildlife Federation, put on the Trailblazers Shooting Sports Day. Scouts came out to learn about firearm safety, and had the opportunity to shoot a large variety of guns. The San Diego Sporting Dog Club, along with several other local dog clubs and various outdoors and shooting sports organizations were asked to participate in the exhibit area, with the goal of introducing the scouts to hunting, dog training, etc.

I volunteered to organize the booth, and in order to engage the interest of the scouts, I decided to write to several dog training equipment suppliers and solicit donations of small items like duck calls, whistles, or any other small item that could be given away in a drawing. Later, I sent out a few more solicitations for sponsorship to some game call manufacturers. Of the five or six companies I contacted, only two responded.

I would like to give kudos to GunDogSupply.com. I went to their web page on a Sunday evening, and found that they have a page set up specifically for requesting such donations! I filled out the form and submitted it, and I received a reply the next morning, saying that they were going to donate gift certificates, totaling $100! I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Not only do I receive fantastic service from Gundog Supply, but they give a LOT back to clubs and organizations.

The second company that replied was Hunter's Specialties. They were not able to donate items outright, but they made a list of closeout items available to me at some VERY deep discounts- and they paid for the shipping! The kids absolutely LOVED the game calls that I was able to purchase. And when the kids that won them came back to the booth and asked me how to use them....what a fantastic way to get kids excited about hunting!

Cabelas also has a sponsorship page, but due to the volume of requests they receive, applicants must contact them more than six weeks in advance of the event. Unfortunately, I did not learn of the event until it was too late to apply. I don't know if they would have been able to help us if I had been able to contact them sooner, but since they have a website set up for the purpose and the cause was worthy, I'm guessing that they would have helped as well.

When I talked to the kids, some of them expressed a strong interest in hunting. But most of them are city folks, and their parents are city folks, and they will likely never be able to get involved in the outdoors unless organizations like those mentioned above actively seek them out and offer them the opportunity. And when companies like these step up and make an investment in the lives of young people who may never be able to repay them, they make a direct impact on future voters who will decide the course of outdoors sports.

Good job, and God bless you!
 
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