By Sherrie Norris
In a world where kids are the subject of heartbreaking news headlines practically on a daily basis, a group of compassionate adults in Watauga County is doing everything it can to shed a positive light on youth, encourage them and remind them that good things can and do happen.
Such is the case with the High Country Chapter of Hunters Helping Kids, now gearing up for its 15th annual fundraising banquet, scheduled for Friday, March 6.
Since the chapter was organized nearly two decades ago, its members have gone above and beyond in their efforts to teach children and adolescents some of life’s greatest lessons through a variety of opportunities.
The banquet (which makes possible an annual kids field day later in the year full of fun, food, games and expert instruction) will be held at Alliance Bible Fellowship on the 105 Bypass in Boone. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner will start at 6 p.m., followed by an exciting live auction at 7 p.m.
Anyone — business, family or individual — can become a sponsor for $250, which entitles you to: two banquet tickets, $200 worth of raffle tickets, a one-in-10 chance on the sponsor gun, your name on the back of the kids day T-shirt, on the organization’s Facebook page and on the sponsor gift.
“If we have 100 sponsors, each will be entered to win a special sponsor gun,” said organization spokesperson, Annette Fox.
She added, “This is a worthwhile cause, with the main focus being our children. Each child present at the banquet will receive a door prize — and one lucky kid will receive a gun.”
Hunters Helping Kids supplies the merchandise, tickets, raffle tickets and other related material for the banquet.
“We provide the place, food and we sell the tickets,” Fox added. “Most of the merchandise at the banquet is custom-made and cannot be found anywhere except at a HHK banquet.”
When all expenses are paid, the money is split and the local chapter keeps half of the proceeds, she explained. “All monies raised are then used to sponsor our annual kid’s day, our scholarship program, the backpack program in the local schools and various other needs that arise in our community. The more money we raise, the more people we can help.”
At the 2019 Kid’s Day, each child participated in stations, such as those teaching fishing, archery, disc archery and shooting (22’s, shotguns), and they painted flower pots. “We provided lunch for everyone, and at the end of the day, each child received a T-shirt, the flower pot they painted and a pair of binoculars.”
“We do hope that the community will come together for this banquet to show support for our children and youth,” Fox added. “Come out and hear the wonderful stories of how this organization has touched so many lives in such a short time.”
Tickets are available at Fox Brothers Moving & Storage, Xtreme Gun & Pawn, or from the following committee members: Ben and Annette Fox, Doug and Pam Winkler, Wayne and Kelia Caudill, Dennis and Sabrina Thomas, Sam Thompson, Zac Thompson, Morgan Smith, Tim Wilson, Alisha Cornell, Jeremy Reece, Landon Phillips, Casey Miller, Caleb Winkler, Dean Winkler, Marissa Pannell, Ethan Winkler, Justin Townsend, Billy Chick, Leah and Kenny Cole and Doug Cheshier.
Those wishing to become a sponsor may mail checks to HCC Hunters Helping Kids, C/o Annette Fox at 2207 Highway 421 N. Boone, NC 28607
Hunters Helping Kids is a 501c non-profit organization that was established in 2005 and now has chapters all over the United States.
For more information on Hunters Helping Kids, visit its Facebook page or website: hhkhighcountry.org.