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Skeet shooters aim for needy kids to have better Christmas (Video)

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Dec. 11, 2011 at 6:11 a.m.
Updated Dec. 12, 2011 at 6:12 a.m.

Mark Henneke fires during a round of skeet shooting in the Santa Helper Toy Shoot on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at the Cuero Gun Club. The event is aimed at supporting the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Toy Drive.

Cuero Gun Club skeet shooters aimed for something higher than an orange, clay discuss flying through the air Sunday.

They aimed for less fortunate children in DeWitt County to have plenty of toys at Christmastime.

Through the first-ever Santa Helper Toy Shoot, an event organized by Gun Club president Richard VanWormer, area gun enthusiasts donated money and educational toys for children 12 and under. The event featured an afternoon of charity and friendly skeet competition.

"It's the first year we've done this," VanWormer said. "I love Christmas, and I really want to help the children."

VanWormer said all money and gifts raised at the Toy Shoot are donated to the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office annual toy drive.

"We're not making a profit today," he said. "And many of the shooters will donate their winnings to the toy drive."

Because it was his first attempt at organizing a skeet shooting Christmas toy drive, VanWormer said, he didn't know what the community response would be.

"I guess you could say it was a craps shoot," VanWormer said, laughing.

But soon after the Toy Shoot launched, gifts and money began piling up inside the Gun Club office. And those who weren't offering gifts handed over checks and cash.

And some, like Clark Selby, donated both.

"It's the thing to do," Selby said, handing VanWormer a $15 cash donation, after setting down two bags of toys. "I've always been one to try to help the kids."

Cuero resident Charlotte Mutchler, who brought her brought her son, Collin Piecuch, to the event, thought the Toy Shoot would be an excellent opportunity for an afternoon of family fun and community goodwill.

"It's a very good cause for kids who don't have toys and the parents don't have the ability to give them a Christmas," Mutchler said.

Collin, a member of DeWitt County 4-H, competed alongside dozens of seasoned shooters at Sunday's event.

Even though VanWormer said he didn't have monetary expectations for the Toy Shoot, he was pleased with the philanthropic turnout, collecting more than $200 and an assortment of toys to donate to the sheriff's office.

"I have a soft spot in my heart for all children. And we have a lot of kids here in DeWitt who need assistance this time of year," said VanWormer,

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