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Benefits from shootout will go toward veteran groups

A U.S. Army Reserve soldier fires an M9 Beretta handgun at a firing range on Camp Williams, near Salt Lake City, Utah, March 4, 2017.

U.S. ARMY

By SARAH MARINO | The Dominion Post | Published: March 11, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — Fifteen lanes, 15 firearms and one day of fun — all for a good cause.

Operation Welcome Home and the Mon Health Foundation are holding the second Morgantown Shootout fundraiser at Defense in Depth on Saturday.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will serve as Honorary Range Master.

Brett Simpson, CEO of Operation Welcome Home, said when the idea first came about, Defense in Depth had just opened. With the safe, indoor facility available for use, this question arose: What would be a cool spin to bring in all kinds of demographics?

The designed targets for the shootout include fairways and hazards that might be present on a golf course.

“Folks get to come in, in a safe environment. Even if they’ve never shot a gun, it’s OK because there’s a safety officer on the range saying ‘OK, do this, do that.’ They try and get the best score they can by shooting at the green,” he said.

There will be food available throughout the day, plus the potential to win two firearms valued at more than $700.

“It’s really neat, and there’s something for everybody. People don’t get bored,” he said.

Shooting times are assigned ahead of time — just like tee times. The price for two to participate is $250. Also, people can purchase a $20 ticket to use the simulator or a $15 dollar visitor and viewer pass to watch activities, support the cause and enjoy the food.

Operation Welcome Home does plenty of outreach to support veterans returning to the workforce, including a Military Appreciation Night at a West Virginia Black Bears game each year.

Simpson hopes to get as many teams as possible to shoot for the event to support the causes the shootout aids. As many as 120 teams can participate.

“My call to action is hop on welcomehomewv.com and support your veterans by signing up for a team or signing up to sponsor a team,” he said.

Breakfast, lunch and other refreshments will be served. Participants must be 21 to enter.

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