‘Shoot Out’ aiming to raise money for school

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Stillwater Christian School’s Parent Teacher Organization is taking aim at a fundraising opportunity that’s a little different from common dinner auctions.

The parent group is hosting the “Stillwater Shoot Out” —  an event modeled after the TV show “Top Shot” — according to member Lori George. A rifle raffle is being held in conjunction to the Shoot Out. 

Both benefit Stillwater Christian School with the goal to “target technology” by funding a new school computer lab.

The raffle prize is a NEMO Standard Battle Light 2.0 ArmaLite-15 or a $1,905 credit toward a custom build. 

Sara Peterson with NEMO Arms said the company has donated prizes to benefit nonprofit organizations before, but this is the first time donating a rifle prize to benefit a school. 

“We have ties to the school,” Peterson said. “We have several employees that are graduates and two families here who have kids in Stillwater.”

Raffle tickets can be purchased at the school located at 225 FFA Drive in Kalispell or from a Stillwater family. Students are not selling tickets. 

Tickets are $25 each  or five for $100. Tickets are limited to 1,000 and more than 350 raffle tickets have already been sold. The winner must be at least 18 and either present a concealed weapons permit or pass a background check. The winner need not be present during the drawing at 4 p.m. Oct. 13.

George and fellow Stillwater Parent Teacher Organization member Steve Waltman said this event is a new avenue for the school to reach a different group of donors — sporting and hunting enthusiasts. 

The event replaces an annual fall auction.

“We’ve usually had an auction. With the economy the way it is, it sort of ran its course, so we thought we’d try something new,” George said.

Stillwater Christian Superintendent Dan Makowski said he received a few calls from people concerned about the school being associated with a rifle raffle, but echoed the same sentiment as George about the annual auction. 

“What we’re sensing is that there’s a lot of auctions and businesses in the community are being asked for a lot of donations. Certainly it was harder to get donations,” Makowski said, adding that he didn’t think raffling a rifle was so unusual.

“We’re certainly not promoting violence. We’re trying to appeal to the sportsman. Most of these people have guns of different kinds.”

Waltman noted, “This is Montana, we’re making it sports-minded and fun.”  

Five-person teams have until Oct. 7 to register and compete for the “top shot” spot in trap shooting, long range rifle, pistol, archery and golf on a floating green Oct. 13 at Scotty’s Shooting Range, 225 Somers Stage Road. 

Participants may register as teams or as an individual. Individuals will be placed on teams. Registration includes food and beverages. Team registration is $1,000, individual registration is $200 and spectators’ entrance fee is $50, which also includes food and beverage. 

“For anyone that hasn’t shot before, certified instructors will be on site at each station,” George said.

Business and organization sponsorships also are available.

Participants are asked to bring their own shotguns and 50 ammunition rounds. NEMO Arms will provide rifles and pistols. Scotty’s will provide a limited number of shotguns. 

Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams.

For more information, call 752-4400 or visit www.stillwaterchristianschool.org.

 Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or by email at hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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