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Foundation grant will help 4-H

The Cumberland 4-H program was recently awarded with a $4,400 equipment grant from the National Rifle Association (NRA) Foundation to fund shooting education equipment.

According to Linda Eanes, Cumberland’s cooperative extension agent, the grant, titled “Friends of NRA,” has been awarded to the Cumberland 4-H in the past.

“Last year we received about $4,000 in equipment from the Friends of NRA grant and probably — I’ve been the agent here since 2002 — we have probably received close to, I don’t know, $10,000 worth of equipment over the years,” Eanes said.

She said last year the grant provided air pistols, BB guns and archery targets.

Eanes said while the equipment mainly helps the shooting education program, it also enables the Cumberland 4-H to use the equipment elsewhere as well.

“Because we have the equipment, for instance … we have used our equipment with the mentor program, which is an after-school program that we have done at the school and we are able to take our equipment over and to use it with that program,” Eanes said. “If we have day camps, we’re able to use the equipment for that. So it really does benefit the entire program, I mean, overall because actually the shooting club is a very small part of the overall 4-H program here in Cumberland.”

She said 10-15 youth attend the shooting education program.

“Last year’s enrollment was upward of 500 youth that participated in the 4-H program in Cumberland as the overall program,” Eanes said.

She said she appreciates the support of the NRA.

“I think the most important thing to know is … the 4-H program is volunteer-led and that is the same for the shooting program,” Eanes said. “… Mr. Dan Pempel has been our rifle instructor for probably a good 8-9 years, probably closer to 10 years, and he’s been really committed with the program. …”

Eanes also noted others who have been involved in instructing within the programs and that all instructors have to receive instructor certification in their specific discipline.

“The 4-H shooting program is part of a bigger Virginia shooting program through 4-H,” Eanes said. “It has district and statewide competitions at Holiday Lake 4-H Center. We just had our state shoot over this last past weekend.”

She said the shooting program was among the biggest 4-H programs in the state.