This past Saturday, the Pioneer Sportsmen – Aiming For Zero team held a side match at the NH Pioneer IDPA Patriot Day Season Opener in Dunbarton, New Hampshire. The side match fundraiser was in support of Active Heroes’ Aiming For Zero campaign, and was accomplished by offering a fast, simple side match in exchange for $5 donations per run.
The Aiming For Zero campaign provides the national competitive shooting community a channel through which to focus their efforts to raise awareness and funds to help veterans and military families cope with PTSD and end veteran suicide. With 84% of all donations going directly to the services and programs benefiting veterans and military families this is an organization you can feel good about supporting. Since the program was announced at the Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor Nationals in February we have seen steady growth of the program in both the number of teams and individual team members. In the past eight weeks, members have established teams from Wyoming to Massachusetts. They have brought awareness of this epidemic to the forefront on various social media platforms and raised more than $8,000.
“I would first like to thank Pioneer Sportsmen Inc. and Jon Wolfe for their continued support of our efforts to increase awareness of the struggles many of our veterans and their families face on a daily basis,” said Chris Tessier, longtime supporter of Active Heroes and member of the Pioneer Sportsmen – Aiming For Zero team. “All too often a veteran’s struggles end with suicide. Every day, 22 times a day, a veteran takes their own life. Active Heroes – Aiming For Zero has the ultimate goal of one day seeing that number reduced to zero. I would also like to thank the competitors at the NH Pioneer IDPA Patriot Day Season Opener. They did a phenomenal in job supporting these efforts.”
Active Heroes – Aiming For Zero campaign is honored to have six new team members sign up for the Pioneer Sportsmen – Aiming For Zero team. With just over a 50 percent participation rate from the competitors who attended the season opener, many of whom paid to play more than once, over $1000 was raised in under five hours. A quick breakdown shows that some competitors went through the side match up to four times, if not more.
“Aaron Haines and Dori Bosler Smith did a fantastic job operating the side match,” boasted Chris. “Aaron had a near real-time video display right out on the bay of the side stage scores so competitors could check how they stacked up against the competition. When there was a lull at the side stage he would travel from bay to bay encouraging folks to participate, all the while educating them about why we hold these events. Dori kept things moving smoothly for all those who wanted to participate with some serious multi-tasking. She too educated those with any questions about Aiming For Zero, accepted donations, handed out shirts and did all the scorekeeping on the side stage. Aaron and Dori were assisted by Joe Smith who ran a mean spray paint can and delivered our message to anyone who would listen. I can’t thank these three enough for their support, as important as the dollars are, I feel that many people left more aware of the issues facing our veterans and military families.”
Overall, Active Heroes and the Aiming For Zero campaign would like to say thanks to all the people that made this event possible. A special thanks to NH Pioneer IDPA for allowing us to host a side match, and Chris Tessier and all the members of the Pioneer Sportsmen – Aiming For Zero team for their efforts and continued support of Active Heroes – Aiming For Zero.
Look for Active Heroes – Aiming For Zero at all of the upcoming monthly matches at NH Pioneer IDPA. To stay up to date on event times and dates follow the Aiming For Zero page on Facebook. Also, be sure to like our group page.
To register a team, join a team, sign up as an individual competitor or make a one-time donation to help Aiming For Zero, a team or a competitor meet their goals click here.