Miracle Shoot hits the bullseye

Published 6:19 pm Sunday, August 12, 2007

By Staff
The concept of mixing kids and firearms may seem unusual, but the formula that has been in place in Washington for the last 11 years has raised more than $600,000 for the regional children’s hospital in Greenville.
Later this month more than 550 shooters, mostly adults, are expected to descend on Washington to continue the tradition.
The 12th annual Miracle Shoot will be held Aug. 24-25 at Hunter’s Pointe, a sporting clays range on U.S. 17, just north of Washington. The event is held under the auspices of Log A Load For Kids, an initiative started by the timber industry to help the Children’s Miracle Network.
The idea of using shotguns and clay targets to benefit a children’s hospital is a bit unusual, admits Val Preedy, assistant coordinator for the Children’s Miracle Network office in Greenville. The network benefits the Eastern Carolina Children’s Hospital there.
Funds from Log A Load are now the third largest contributor to the hospital behind the Service League of Greenville and Wal-Mart’s Sams Club.
The shoot started long before Lori and Chuck Frazier bought the range in 2001, but they’ve helped it grow.
The men’s division is divided up into five flights. There are two divisions for women and two for youth. The first place prize in each flight is a Browning Gold shotgun valued at $1,100. Second place is a Browning pump shotgun and third is a Browning .22 caliber rifle.
There are also drawings for 40 more guns with a retail value of $40,000.
Attendance was peaking until the shoot was expanded to two days. There is still some room for growth, says Earl Dail, who was one of the three organizers of the event at the start. Yet he admits the physical size of the course may ultimately limit just how much bigger it can get.
If the tournament is to grow, volunteers will be the key, Dail said.
The cost of a round is $65 and $35 for youth age 14 and under.
Colony Tire is the major sponsor this year. Tim Roberson, who operates The Filling Station in Robinsonville provides all the food free of charge.
No advance registration is required.
The hospital had more than 33,000 impatient visits last year and serves 29 eastern North Carolina counties. The Children’s Miracle Network provided more than $1.2 million to support the facility last year.
Dail got into the shoot for three reasons. He’s worked for Weyerhaeuser for 37 years in the timber industry. Five years ago, he started a sporting goods store in New Bern and with a federal firearms license he could then buy guys at cost and pass the benefits on to the Log-A-Load event.
The event runs from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. that Friday and from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information or to preregister call 728-5210.