The real too good to be true deal of a lifetime

WORTHINGTON -- There are very, very few examples of where something that sounded too good to be true wasn't actually too good to be true. When you hear of an out-of-thisworld deal most of the time there is something wrong with the deal.

Anna Timms
submitte photo Anna Timms shows off the hardware that she won at the Minnesota state high school trap shooting tournament in June of 2011.

WORTHINGTON -- There are very, very few examples of where something that sounded too good to be true wasn't actually too good to be true. When you hear of an out-of-thisworld deal most of the time there is something wrong with the deal.

Every once in a while, maybe every 50 years or so, you can actually benefit greatly from one of those too good to be true offers. One of those times is today if you are a member, supporter, instructor or parent of a child involved in the Worthington Trojan High School Trap Shooting Team. The team in the Worthington area has completed three seasons and is excited to start their fourth year of competition.

When the local instructors first began the process of starting the trap shooting team there were only four teams in the whole state. It had humble beginnings with teams shooting at the home locations and posting their scores on the honor system on the web. Oh, what a difference a few years makes. There are now 67 towns comprising 57 teams that participate. High school shooting sports were quite common many decades ago and faded gently over the years to almost extinction.

As a result of the several local volunteers and two or three others across the state this decline has been reversed and the growth of shooting sports at the high school level is skyrocketing. It is pretty amazing what a few motivated people can accomplish. It is almost unprecedented and the credit falls squarely in the lap of a Worthington native Kenny Sonnenfield, of St Francis, Jim Sable, of Prior Lake, and Scott Oberloh of Worthington.

Now for the details of the deal that is too good to be true. There is a gentleman named Larry Potterfield. He and his wife own and operate a company called Midway USA. It is a very successful retailer of all things associated with the shooting sports. They have a huge web presence and I have used their products many times. As a result of their business success he and his wife have made generous gifts to a wide variety of non-profit organizations. They also started the Midway USA Scholastic Shooting Trust. The foundation has an active partner in Pheasants Forever Inc. as the administrator of the various programs available within the foundation guidelines. The Potterfields' funded PF Inc. (St. Paul, MN.) with $355,000 per year for five years to help start, promote and grow local shooting clubs.


Here is the deal. Local money raised by the Worthington High School Trap Team deposited into the trust by June 1 will be matched by the Potterfields on a three-to-one ratio. You read that right. What this means is that if the local club can raise $10,000 and send it in by the first of June, the Midway Scholastic Shooting Sports Trust will add an additional $30,000 into the trap Clubs individual account. The Worthington High School Trap Shooting Club will then have a dedicated account with $40,000 in it. They can then withdraw annually 5 percent of the trust account value guaranteed for the life of the organization. This would amount to $2,000 each and every year to cover the basic overhead of the club. This $2,000 is available every year even if the trusts' return on investment is zero.

The 3-1 match is being made to the local club account by Larry Potterfield and his wife. This is a limited time offer and ends June 1. The local Nobles County Pheasants Forever Chapter has teamed with the local trap club and provided the funds to purchase the five-gun fundraising prize package. The chapter funds a variety of youth outdoor activities in addition to our substantial habitat acquisition work. The local club advisors and students need your help reaching out to you and any person or business interested in helping advance the goals of improving access to and encouraging young people in our community to participate and enjoy the outdoor sport of recreational shooting.

The huge difference between this program and others is the generous 3-1 match. I have never seen any other similar shooting sports program that even comes close. The second big difference is the fact that the funds can be used to fund any of the day to day operations of the club. Other smaller grant programs specify a narrow list of approved items that the funds can spent on. The cost to drive from one event to another in most cases is not eligible, but the last time I checked it takes gas to do that and it costs money. These dollars available to the club are eligible for all forms of direct club operating expenses.

There are currently about 30 kids involved this season. The trap club season runs from now until the about the end of May. In the three years of the programs existence it has continued to grow and prosper. Last year, the local club placed fifth in the state and would have placed higher if the teams had been aligned a bit differently. There is an immense amount of time, effort and energy being exerted by a small number of folks. They include Scott and Mary Oberloh, Chris Kruse and Aaron Sieve.

If the club can be successful in raising the $10,000 target between now and June 1 and get that matched with $30,000 from the Shooting Trust, they can then have an annual base operating revenue of $2,000 per year. This will make a significant contribution to the programs baseline costs every year and will allow them to spend less time trying to make ends meet and more time on the line instructing what is hoped to be an ever increasing number of student participants.

The group will start selling gun raffle tickets in the next few weeks and any monetary help that you provide will multiply three fold. Each ticket costs $20. You can search out any member of the high school trap club or any of the instructors listed earlier. Tickets will also be available at my office at Rall Financial Services.

You can also send a check to the Worthington High School Trap Club P.O. Box 453 Worthington Minnesota 56187. Remember that this is a very limited time offer that needs to capitalized on now, or it will be lost, so if you choose to act, act soon. A complete list of the prizes is available at my office. If you would like more information please contact Kris Kruse at 507-360-6027, Scott Oberloh 507-376-4535 or Arron Sieve at 507-360-2655 you can also contact me at .

Scott Rall is the Daily Globe's outdoors columnist. His column can also be read weekly at .

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