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   Husband and Wife Volunteer Teams Help Support Friends of NRA

She works with attendees, he deals with vendors. She’s all about ticket sales, he is all about underwriting. She takes charge of setting up the banquet; he takes charge of taking it down. When he needs a hand, she's there to help. When she's got an idea, he jumps on board.

They're a dream team for Friends of NRA committees, but we're not referring to just two people, we're talking about married couples throughout the entire program devoting their time to Friends of NRA events across the nation.

These household teams are a common occurrence in the family-friendly Friends of NRA program. Couples' years of experience working together, and dedication to making sure there really is something for everyone at a Friends of NRA event, make them a great fit for the program. Since many married couples often have the team-mentality down, they're prime candidates to run a Friends of NRA committee. And that’s because they know how to get things done. They already know who is better at what and how to read each other's needs.

But the real blessing couples offer to the Friends of NRA program, says Southern Regional Director Al Hammond, is they help keep events a family-affair, which ends up benefiting the program as a whole.

“We have had couples serve on Friends of NRA committees since inception and they bring the true spirit of The NRA Foundation and the meaning of our NRA family to the program,” said Hammond. “They're another example of who and what the NRA organization represents and how we strive to succeed in promoting freedom and the Second Amendment through the shooting sports programs.”

Committee couples are prevalent in Friends of NRA's southern region, and with the overwhelming success Hammond has seen in husband and wife teams, he’s always encouraging committees in his southern region to make their events a family matter.

Five couples who have shown this type of success in particular come to mind, including the Barleys, the Stoudemiers, the Williamsons, the Dills, and the Donaldsons shown on the right. Each couple has a unique way they work together to get things done, and through the ups and downs that inevitably come with planning any event, they're still standing in the end.

For the Barleys, getting things done is just easier at times simply because it's convenient being so close to one another on a daily basis. The Stoudemiers' close-knit family makes the planning and process a more thorough one. And the Williamsons like knowing they have someone on their team who knows them inside and out. When the Dills are on the scene, their socializing skills shine and both being such extroverts has helped them reach out and connect with committee members, attendees, and vendors alike. And as for the Donaldsons, knowing someone always has your back makes the planning process a lot easier.

“I personally know these Friends of NRA families and they are at the heart of their local committee's success and all are equally involved in NRA statewide activities through State Fund grant processes and many youth shooting sports activities,” said Hammond. “We are blessed as an organization to have such numerous fine people as these five families who represent many families all across the country serving on local committees in providing a local face to the National Rifle Association.”

Couple: Robert & Kathryn Barley (FL)
Committee: Walton County Friends of NRA
Years on Committee: 10

“Like many committees you need people that are there to get the job done, not just to meet. We bounce ideas off each other throughout the year and then about the 3 months before the event we begin to really firm up details. Since we live in the same house many "meetings" happen over breakfast or dinner - just whenever we need to review something.”

Couple: Kent & Barbara Dills (SFL)
Committee: Bay Area Friends of NRA
Years on Committee: 18

“We have such a good relationship, and we’ve settled into a really nice groove. We are both very social, outgoing people. He’s the one that goes out and hits the vendors and I’m the phone person who reaches out to people. It’s a labor of love, and knowing what the money goes to is really rewarding.”

Couple: David & Annette Williamson (NTX)
Committee: Houston County Friends of NRA
Years on Committee: 12

“Most of the Houston County Friends Committee is comprised of husband and wife teams. We work well together in organizing and getting the job done in part because we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and know almost without saying when the other needs help in getting something done.”

Couple: Jerry & Brenda Donaldson (AR)
Committee: Natural State Friends of NRA
Years on Committee: 10

“My husband likes to try and go and win guns, so he’s got a big incentive. He just kind of fell into it because I was so into it. I don’t know how other couples work, but he is so great because he acts as my right hand-man and every time I need something or need his help he is right there to give me a hand.”

Couple: Gerry & Faye Stoudemier (SC)
Committee: Mid-Carolina Friends of NRA
Years on Committee: 10

“We share everything we do together and it's been that way for so long now, we don’t know anything else. We've been partners in everything we do. She’s really thorough, and worries all the time about everything being perfect, and I don't because I know that if she is in charge of it, it's going to be perfect. And that just why we work so well together. And we make it a family event. We have four generations of our family helping out and that makes all the difference.”

To find out how you can volunteer or attend your local Friends of NRA event, find and contact your state NRA field representative by visiting www.friendsofnra.org/events.