WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Sporting clubs are behind St. Jude full bore

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Sporting clubs are behind St. Jude full bore


“One hundred year from now it will not matter what my bank account was, what sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”

—St. Jude Children’s
Research Hospital

The sportsmen and women at the Meriden Rod & Gun Club and New Haven Raccoon Club believe this with all of their hearts. They have shown this over the years with various fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The past year has been a trying time for all of us. Many fundraising ventures had to be shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this included the Meriden Rod & Gun Club’s Annual St. Jude Day.

Over the years the Meriden Rod & Gun Club and the New Haven Raccoon Club, as well as a few other clubs before them, through CT Shooting Sportsmen, have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars through fundraising efforts.

Through all these years of heartbreak and chaos caused by sick individuals using firearms, these organizations have been the good guys ‘n’ gals with guns.

Sorry to say, their efforts on behalf of kids suffering and dying from childhood cancer and other catastrophic juvenile illnesses are hardly ever deemed newsworthy by many news outlets because, after all, they are using legal firearms to save lives, not take them, and for them that is not newsworthy.

Before the COVID-19 pendemic, the CT Shooting Sportsmen donated $30,000 through the Country 92.5 FM Radiothon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and if you were not listening to my favorite country music station 95.2 FM or reading the Meriden R-J you would have been unaware of such a generous event.

The Meriden Rod & Gun Club got involved in raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital upon meeting Jordan Davila, a young boy who was suffering from a form of leukemia.

Jordan was one of those kids that just won your heart from the first time you met him. I know he won mine and even adopted me as his LLG (Long Lost Granddad).

But it wasn’t only me he wowed, but the DJs at Country 92.5 FM, the gang at the Meriden Rod & Gun Club and even rock star Ted Nugent, who autographed Jordan’s hat with “The kid with the heart of a lion.”

Jordan left his world of pain when he was only 9-years old, but before he left us he did meet Ted Nugent and then Governor John Rowland at a bill signing in Hartford that made it possible for sportsmen to donate wild game to soup kitchens to feed the homeless and others in need.

After the signing event, I had to carry Jordan to his ride because of the pain he was in. In the times we spent together, I never heard him complain about the pain before, but this time as I carried him to the car he asked me, “Why me Mike?” 

I had no answer and I hoped he did not see the tears running down my cheeks.

Jordan’s words are burned into my very soul. I and those super folks who support our efforts will continue to do so at events that are held by shooting clubs like the Meriden Rod & Gun Club and New Haven Raccoon Club.

Shortly after the Hartford bill signing, Jordan left us for a better, less painful place, but he also left a legacy for those of us that own and believe in the use of legal firearms to help save the lives of children, not take them. The New Haven Raccoon Club holds a 3-D Archery Shoot and a Trap Shoot and the Meriden Rod & Gun Club stages an annual St. Jude Day fundraiser.

The Meriden Rod & Gun Club St. Jude Day has turned into a spectacular event featuring use of their archery, pistol, rifle and trap ranges. Trap shoots are 25 shots for $5.

Tickets to this prestigious event are only $10 per person. This gains access to the shooting ranges and gets you all you can eat, both domestic and wild game. You can figure on filling up on venison chili, clam chowder, burgers, hotdogs and much more. I have been told that there might even be a food truck at the event.

I would be remiss in this article if I did not mention the Super St. Jude Raffle that includes all kinds of sporting goods, tickets to major sporting events and concerts, gift cards and much, much more!

Over the years the Meriden Rod & Gun Club St. Jude Day has grown in popularity. There will be plenty of room for parking thanks to the generosity of the Casertano Greenhouse Company.

The 2021 Meriden Rod & Gun Club St. Jude Day takes place next Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the club grounds at the end of Raven Lane in South Meriden. The public is invited.

Every cent made at this event goes directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and it can only be made a success by your support.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas said, “No child should die in the dawn of life.” Sportsmen at clubs like the Meriden Rod & Gun Club have taken this to heart and have been doing this in memory of Jordan Davila and other kids suffering from insidious diseases like childhood cancer.

If you come, and I hope you will, go into the clubhouse and view the “St. Jude Wall of Hope.” It tells you what kind of sportsmen and women they really are.

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops, police, firefighters, first responders and the children suffering from childhood cancer.

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