Scott Gordon is the communications coordinator for the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.
It was a big day on Saturday for Columbia shooter Brian Hopper as he topped 142 other competitors in the Sporting Clays division to win high-over-all honors at the 19th Annual Rock Bridge Lions Club Clay Shoot.
Besides posting the top overall score, Hopper and a teammate also broke a perfect 75 of 75 targets to win Flight A in the Two-Man Scramble event. And he and his fiancée, Angel Carr of Kingdom City, tied for first place in Flight E in the Scramble.
An estimated 255 contestants entered the two-tournament event at River Hills Sporting Clays range and helped raise an estimated $20,000-plus for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. The Clay Shoot is one of the largest charity shooting events in the region.
Shooting for food
“It was a tremendous success,” said Food Bank Executive Director Peggy Kirkpatrick afterward. "We won’t know the final amount of money raised for a few days, but we know it is well over $20,000.”
At the post-event awards ceremony, Kirkpatrick reminded the crowd that the Food Bank will leverage each dollar to make it do the work of $15 in putting food on the tables of hungry central and northeast Missouri children and adults. One person of every six in the Food Bank’s 32-county service area is below the poverty level. The Food Bank provides free food to about 110,000 people a month through 131 agency partners and other programs.
The high turnout of contestants at Saturday’s shotgun-shooting contest was seen as more than just generosity for those served by the Food Bank. It also signals a strong backing for Second Amendment rights, the director said.
“Everyone from our many sponsors to the shooters themselves are extremely generous people,” Kirkpatrick stated. “This is not only a tremendous boost for helping those in need of food, but a tremendous positive tribute to people who own and legally use guns.”
Payout to nine classes is a record
For the first time in the event’s history, winning payouts were made to contestants in nine classes. Hopper broke 91 of 100 targets to pace Flight A in the Sporting Clays event. Jim Cook of Hallsville won Flight B with 76. Brandon Bothwell of Mooresville was the winner of Flight C with 68, and Dale Ruether of Marthasville hit 66 to win Flight D. Mike Johnson of Robertsville won a five-way tie to lead Flight E with 57 breaks. Flight F winner was J.V. Scofield, John Kraus of Jefferson City won Flight G after tying with Russ Chambers of Columbia with 47s. Flights H and I were won by Mike Cupp with 39 and Paul Lucas with 30. First place was worth $100 cash, second $75 and third, $50.
In the Two-Man Scramble, Hopper and Warrenton teammate Mark Gamel captured Flight A honors with a perfect score of 75 out of 75. Flight B went to 66 carded by Brandon and Adam Faerber of Hermann; Flight C was won by Nick Bryson of Columbia and Scott Baldridge of Harrisburg with 62. John and Cole Staats of Rocheport won Flight D after a six-way tie with 57. Scott Simpson and Ross Hudson of Fayette won Flight E with 52. Ryan Hudson and Matt Bolles of Higbee won Flight F with a 45/75. Cash prizes were $150 for the first-place teams, $100 for second and $50 for third.
More results and photos can be found on the Food Bank’s Facebook page.
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