Sullivan County High School in Laporte is one of three Pennsylvania educational systems that will share in $660,000 in endowments from the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The Sullivan County school is among 33 high school and collegiate shooting organizations throughout the nation that each will receive a $20,000 endowment made possible by NWTF members through funds raised at NWTF events.
The funds originate with the Scholastic Shooting Trust, a foundation created by MidwayUSA owners Brenda and Larry Potterfield.
The National Wild Turkey Federation fully supports shooting sports and believes they are a safe and informal gateway to hunting. The NWTF recognizes hunters as the foundation of wildlife conservation.
"The NWTF is proud to play a major role in supporting youth shooting programs," said Tom Hughes, NWTF assistant vice president of education and outreach programs. "These endowments have a tremendous impact in sustaining and growing the programs of the recipients."
The recipients include school organizations from 18 states. The shooting programs can use the interest generated from the endowment each year to pay for shooting program expenses.
Recipients also are encouraged to use the money to hold fundraisers.
"Competitive shooting teams provide wonderful opportunities for students to make friends, to develop confidence and learn discipline and leadership skills," said Larry Potterfield, founder and CEO of MidwayUSA. "However, most schools provide little or no funding for shooting teams, so it's up to us to help."
Teams that wish to be considered for endowments should contact the NWTF regional director for their area. NWTF regional directors can be found by going to www.nwtf.org/in_your_state, clicking on your state then clicking on "Field Staff," or by calling 800-843-6983.
"This money will make a significant difference for our program," said Marie Kibbey, coach of recipient Sheffield (Pa.) High School. "We try to provide kids with a safe place to go out and shoot. It's hard for them to pay all the expenses out of their own pockets."
In addition to Sullivan County and Sheffield high schools, Indiana University of Pennsylvania also will receive an endowment.
Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, investing more than $372 million to conserve 17 million acres of wildlife habitat.