[ back ]
Turkey shoot generates revenue for charities
Reynoldsburg Lions Club members hope their annual spring turkey shoot will generate revenue for site-worthy charities throughout central Ohio.
The Lions Club is hosting its turkey shoot on Sundays through May 20.
“The club has been having a turkey shoot forever,” member Bob Marburger said. “I think it goes clear back to the 1950s. I can’t remember when it first started.”
For the turkey shoot, organizers line up 12 participants in a row and the person who shoots closest to the target wins the prize, everything from turkey to bacon, Marburger said.
The shoot starts at 10 a.m. and finishes about 12 or 12:30 p.m. Most of the guys who participate bring $50 with them and shoot until they run out of money, Marburger said. A turkey shoot might include 30 trials. The club holds the shoot six times in the spring and 10 times in the fall.
It costs participants $3 to participate in each round, maybe $4 if participants are shooting for a ham or a pack of steaks, Marburger said. Members get bacon and some other meat from Holly Hill Farms for a discounted rate. Other meat comes from Kroger. The meat offering depends on what is on sale, club member Bob Martin said.
“We buy stuff on sale at Kroger and use it as prizes,” Marburger said.
For the April 22 event, participants were shooting for turkey, ham, bacon, prime rib, steaks and brats.
The location of the turkey shoot has changed periodically. As Reynoldsburg has developed, organizers have been challenged to find appropriate space to hold the turkey shoot.
This year’s event is being held in Fairfield County at a member’s home, 13685 Basil Road. Since members kept searching for a new location, he donated the use of his 50 acres of land for the event, Marburger said.
“As things built out we couldn’t shoot shotguns close to homes,” he said.
The Lions raise $4,000 to $6,000 for the Lions Club in the spring and $12,000 to $14,000 in the fall. However, with the lull in the economy, members have seen a decrease in fundraising.
The Lions see a lot of repeat customers for the Turkey Shoot, with participants returning spring and fall. Most of the participants are hunters, but the event draws non-hunters, women and children, too, Marburger said. Children shoot on the line with the adults, he said.
“We have kids, too,” he said. “They shoot right with the adults.”
Martin said safety is important to club members.
In addition to raising funds for the Lions Club, the event increases awareness of proper techniques for handling weapons and increases awareness of the history of agriculture in Ohio, Martin said.
“We are teaching a new generation of kids how to handle (guns),” he said.
Most participants have their own guns, but participants often lend their guns to those without them.
Club members provide the BB shells for the turkey shoot, with the only required skill of making sure they hit the card with the BB.
“All it takes is for one of the little BBs to be the closest to the center of the card,” he said.
The turkey shoot is a big hit because there aren’t many turkey shoots left. Marburger said both the Summit Station and Southeast Lions clubs still offer an event. The Reynoldsburg turkey shoot is the only event Marburger is aware of on the eastside of Columbus.
Marburger said most of the money from the turkey shoot is donated to charities, such as Pilot Dogs, the Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Central Ohio Lions Bank, Ohio Lions Eye Research Foundation, News Real Incorporated and the Ohio School for the Blind. The group also provides eye glasses and exams for Reynoldsburg students.
[ back ]