Best Friends of NRA: Meet the 2023 Volunteers of the Year!

Our volunteers put the "Friends" in Friends of NRA.

posted on June 7, 2024
Fonra Volunteers Of The Year

From rallying people together to support our cause, selling game tickets, and event set up and tear down, more than 8,000 dedicated volunteers across the country unite with us to tackle over 600 events a year. Thanks to their phenomenal help, Friends of NRA has raised over $1.1 billion for The NRA Foundation, which supports firearms education and training at the local, state, and national levels.

“This program succeeds by the unwavering dedication and fearless drive of our volunteers,” explained Director of Volunteer Fundraising, Sarah Engeset. “They are the faces behind The NRA Foundation and Friends of NRA, and work tirelessly to push our mission forward.”

Since 1992, Friends of NRA has held over 25,500 events, reached more than 4.7 million attendees and awarded nearly $473 million in grant funding, contributing to 60,000 NRA Foundation grants.

NRA Field Representatives evaluate volunteers on a number of criteria including event tickets sold, years of service, leadership, and overall impact on the program. Each Field Rep selects one Volunteer of the Year (VOY) for their area, and then their Regional Director determines their Regional Volunteer of the Year from those nominations. The four 2023 Regional Volunteers of the Year have more than 58 years of combined volunteering experience, during which they’ve raised over half of a million dollars for The NRA Foundation in 2023 alone.

The VOY program also recognizes an exceptional Friends of NRA committee each year. Falls of the Ohio Friends of NRA in Indiana yet again topped the charts in 2023 by setting another committee record. Raising more than $311 thousand dollars in net income, they sold 1,000 banquet tickets, 27 sponsorships, and flipped the Wall of Guns 30 times, totaling more than $230,000for their one event. They are more than deserving to earn the title of Outstanding Committee of the Year in 2023. In fact, since their inception in 1999, this committee has raised more than $2.8 million dollars for the Friends of NRA and NRA Foundation.

Award recipients received an all-expenses-paid trip to the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. This year, they joined the 153rd NRA Annual Meetings in Dallas, TX, on May 16-19. Special recognition was given to each Region Volunteer of the Year and the Committee of the Year during the National NRA Foundation Banquet & Auction on Thursday, May 16.

Visit to view more of our 2023 volunteers of the year. A volunteer is highlighted every other week.




Dale Emerick, PA's 1st Friends of NRA



Jim Kelley, Itasca County Friends of NRA



Melinda Pawelek, Karnes County Area Friends of NRA



Jeremy Frisk, Sweet Grass Friends of NRA


Falls of the Ohio Friends of the NRA


Help secure American freedoms and shooting sports traditions for generations to come! To join in on the fundraising efforts near you, contact your local Field Rep or attend a local Friends of NRA event.


Sctp Fun Lede
Sctp Fun Lede

SCTP Sporting Clays & Five-Stand Event Registration Opens

Proceeds from both events benefit SSSF’s Scholarship Program as well as participating Ronald McDonald House Charities Chapters through the Kids & Clays Foundation.

Video Review: Smith & Wesson M&P 10mm M2.0 Pistol

The 10mm chambering is an oft-overlooked defensive powerhouse, perfected in the latest iteration of S&W's venerable M&P line.

The Doctor is In! 6 Top Gun-Safety Mistakes to Avoid

As a doctor, hunter and lifelong gun owner, Dr. Dvorchak has collected six simple ways to help stay safe.

First Impressions: Cold Steel Full Metal Atlas Folding Knife

Stunning, resilient and precise, this folding knife meets modern-day adventurers’ every need—anytime, anywhere.

Shooting Sports 101: What is NRL22?

Making a family-friendly competitive shooting sport even easier for NRA families to access!

Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation's Newest Scholarship: $30,000 to Student Athletes!

SSSF announces that it has established a new scholarship fund--and $30K in donations have already been disbursed!


Get the best of NRA Family delivered to your inbox.