Log A Load for Kids a bullseye

Published 9:03 pm Monday, August 27, 2007

By By PETER WILLIAMS, Staff Writer
The shooters Friday and Saturday were aiming at the four-inch clay targets.
Earl Dail was aiming at something far bigger.
Dail, is one of the founders of the annual Log A Load For Kids Miracle Shoot held just outside Washington. He is hoping to raise $100,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network at a sporting clays event held this weekend at Hunter’s Pointe.
Last year the event drew more than 500 shooters and raised $75,000 for programs at the Eastern Carolina Children’s Hospital in Greenville.
Friday there were 199 shooters, including 14 women and 21 teens. The same day last year the event had 150 shooters total.
This year the event landed a new corporate sponsor, a Greenville dealer. Landing that was something of a miracle.
This year Pecheles Audi in Greenville was one of the sponsors.
That’s the same thing that keeps some local sponsors coming back every year.
Roberson has owned The Filling Station in Robersonville for 17 years and donates all of the food for the event. He doesn’t mind, because everybody involved with the shoot donates their time and material too.
And cook he does. For Friday’s luncheon he cooked one and half pigs, with five gallons of slaw, string beans and potatoes.
Saturday’s fare made Friday’s lunch look like a snack.
The shoot got its start with Log a Load, an initiative by the timber industry to help the network.
Mike Marks of New Bern got involved 12 years ago because of the industry tie and has been shooting ever since. He only shoots competitive clays once a year, and that’s at the Log A Load event in Washington.
The lure of winning a $1,100 shotgun also doesn’t hurt. More than 40 guns were available for the top shooters and raffle winners. But a gun is not the main reason Marks and son Andrew were there this weekend.
In 2002, the event drew just 254 shooters. In two years, the figure surpassed 410 and hit 446 by 2005.
Funds from Log A Load are now the third largest contributor to the Greenville hospital behind the Service League of Greenville and Wal-Mart’s Sams Club. In the first 11 years of the Washington event, $600,000 was raised.