Winchester Ammunition and the Kids & Clays Foundation have a shared goal: Busting clay pigeons and children's cancer and other devastating illnesses at the same time. They've been working together for 20 years, with Winchester serving as the Kids & Clays Foundation's major ammunition sponsor--and it's a vivid illustration of a concept we've covered here at NRA Family for years: The firearms industry cares. Good people who enjoy the shooting sports and have a heart for kids and their families have thus raised $20 million to help beat kids' cancer...but there's always more work ahead.
Kids & Clays assists Ronald McDonald Houses in coordinating their own shooting sports fundraisers and provides cash and merchandise from generous National Sponsors and Donors to give as prizes for the fundraising events. Additionally, Kids & Clays provides an event manual that includes instructions for hosting an event and offers on-site support. It all began in 1999 with the support of Winchester Ammunition, and has grown to be a major fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) across the country.
Just before the turn of the millennium, Glenn and Kathy Lubeznik, McDonald’s owner/operators in northwest Indiana, chaired the first annual Sporting Clays Tournament benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland. With the support of Winchester Ammunition, McDonald’s owners/operators and McDonald’s suppliers, the event hosted 137 participants and generated more than $15,000 for RMHC. That was just the beginning.
“Our long-standing commitment—20 years—as the major ammunition supporter to Kids & Clays is extremely important,” said Matt Campbell, vice president of sales and marketing for Winchester Ammunition. “We are proud that our brand of more than 150 years is associated with organizations like Kids & Clays and that we can help further their mission.”
By the year 2000, companies and organizations such as Browning, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) followed Winchester’s lead and agreed to support the event as sponsors. More than 220 participants shot in the Chicago tournament, and the Chicago Ronald McDonald House was again the beneficiary, to the tune of over $58,000.
The rapid success of the Chicago area tournament inspired Mr. Lubeznik to share his knowledge of this fundraiser with Ronald McDonald Houses across the country. Because of the potential for growth of this program, Mr. Lubeznik formed what is known today as the Kids & Clays Foundation. The Foundation’s goal was to promote shooting tournaments as a unique type of fundraising event for Ronald McDonald Houses across the nation.
Each year, Winchester donates over 1,000 cases of its famous shotshell target ammunition and merchandise to support over 25 Kids & Clays events. The local Ronald McDonald House Charities keep 100% of the net proceeds from each event. What started as tens of thousands of dollars annually in fundraising has grown exponentially with 2019 setting a record high of nearly $1.9 million raised, all to help critically ill children from coast to coast.
Would you like to learn more about how you can help bust clay pigeons and childhood diseases? Click here!