An Pennsylvania family wanted to honor their fallen hero and ended up creating what grew into an annual event...
Jeff Scavazzo and Loraine Clune, owners of Endless Mountain Archery in Birchardville, Pennsylvania were mourning the loss of Lorraine's nephew, who was killed by sniper in Afghanistan two years ago. The family had created a memorial scholarship in Christopher Barton's name, but wanted to do more--they wanted to honor his memory by helping other soldiers. When the family discovered Soldiers' Angels, they knew they'd found their mission.
To help Soldiers' Angels support more of Christopher's brothers and sisters in arms, Jeff and Loraine created the First Annual Soldiers' Angels Benefit in early August, a day of indoor/outdoor archery and running competitions for their small community.
About 50-60 people participated in the first event, held in late August. In addition to the archery, activities included a 5-mile run, a 1-mile walk, raffles, food for sale and an auction of donated items. Additional funds were raised through participation fees.
The event was managed entirely independently, with no assistance from Soldiers' Angels. Local and national vendors donated auction items, archery-related merchandise, t-shirts and banners, money and services to make the event a huge success.
Two weeks later, on August 22, Endless Mountain Archery held another shoot on what will become the weekend of the Annual Soldiers' Angels Benefit. They expect the Benefit to triple in size next year, since so far it has operated largely by simple word-of-mouth in their small town. In addition, Archery World magazine is doing a feature on the Benefits in their November issue.
When everything from the two shoots was totaled up, Jeff and Loraine had raised nearly $3,500 dollars!
Congratulations for an amazing event that looks like it's going to be a wonderful fixture for the troops!
Photos by Patti L. Dudock