Gun Blogger Rendezvous: Swag

After our range adventures over the past two days, Saturday night left us Hungry with a capital H. Luckily, the organizers of the Gun Blogger Rendezvous anticipated this and worked with Bill Brassard of the National Shooting Sports Foundation to provide for us an all-you-can-eat pizza feed. First, Bill gave us an update on what the NSSF is doing in the world, including their work on helping people understand ARs and campaigning against the suggested lead ammo band. Then, Bill, Mr. Completely and I walked down to Gecko’s BBQ to order pizza for the crew and gluten-free ribs for me. I am grateful that Bill was so flexible for me in my diet. Thanks 🙂 Bill provided tons of NSSF resources for the Gun Bloggers to use. Flyers, statistics, reporter’s notebooks, mouse pads, an illustrated guide (including a glossary) to help writers who pen gun-related articles to use the correct terminology. I will be using the writer’s guide as I blog; it is very helpful.

With our bellies full, we continued on down the agenda to a speech by the folks of Soldier’s Angels Project Valour-IT. I hadn’t heard of  Soldier’s Angels before the Rendezvous. It is a small mom-and-pop type nonprofit that started at home. A mother of a deployed soldier began sending a shoe-box full of useful items per day to her soldier son. Her soldier son asked her to send more. More? The soldier had been sharing with all of the men and women serving with him, many of whom didn’t receive packages. Mom organized friends, family, neighbors, etc. to “adopt” her soldier son’s friends. When she ran out of locals, she took it online and founded a non-profit.

One of the activities of this non-profit is Project Valor-IT which gives disability-friendly computers and software to injured veterans. As soldiers come home with amputated limbs, they often feel isolated from the world, but computers with transcription software are enabling soldiers who are missing arms to still email friends and family and even to look for jobs. Every year the Gun Blogger Rendezvous has a raffle with cool prizes offered from various gun and gun gear manufacturers. The ticket sales go to support Project Valor-IT. This year, we were able to send them $2,000. I’ve heard that it’s not much compared to what we usually send, but we’ve all been hit hard by this economy and we did our best.

Project Valor-IT presentation

Mr. Completely asked me to help sell the tickets and I did. I was super nervous because I’m new to Gun Blogger Rendezvous and so didn’t know the people I was harassing and because I never sold tickets before, but it was kind of fun! First time around, I asked people if they would like to buy raffle tickets, then I asked them if they needed more tickets. Need? Why yes! I do need that Glock, that Leupold. haha. Towards the end, I just gave people the look or shook the raffle ticket cup at them.

After the speech and the ticket sales, the fun began! First, we gave away the door prizes. It began with every registered participant receiving a computer bag from Ruger. Inside the bag were Ruger coffee mugs and hats. The bag has a Velcro covered pocket that I heard was for conceal carry but no one at my table knew how to use it. Then, we all received a range bag from Midway and t-shirts from GunUp. After that, we began drawing tickets from the door prize raffle. All registered participants had a ticket with their name on it and we drew names one at a time until the raffle cup was empty. Then, we dumped all of those names back in and drew some more until everything was gone.

Aunt Bea drawing the first name out of the bucket.

I received 2  Springfield XD hats (one of which was won by CS Tactical and given to me), shirt, pin, pen and holster which I gave to my boyfriend GB since his carry gun is a Springfield XD. I also got a Springfield XDCrimson Trace t-shirt for me. I had a very hard time picking prizes when it was my turn. Everything was so awesome!

All of the Springfield XD swag that I brought home to GB.

After the door prize drawing came the big drawing: the Soldier’s Angels Project Valor-IT drawing. Up for grabs was a Glock, a Leupold, an Air Rifle (courtesy of The Packing Rat), $200 scope rings from The Smallest Minority and tons more I can’t remember. I wanted the Glock, but then again, I think everyone did. Connie ended up with the Glock, Liz with the Air Rifle and me with the scope rings. I was way excited for the scope rings because I want to put a scope on my Appleseed rifle. What a perfect prize for me! Thanks The Smallest Minority!

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