The 2016 Region Volunteers of the Year

Each year outstanding Friends of NRA volunteers are recognized for their efforts by being selected by their area field representatives as the area volunteers of the year. From the area volunteers, one from each region is selected as the Region Volunteer of the Year. These select few are given the opportunity to attend the  NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits to be honored at the National NRA Foundation Banquet. Combined, this year’s volunteers have close to 45 years of experience and raised nearly $300,000 for The NRA Foundation in 2016 alone. Learn more about the dedicated 2016 Region Volunteers of the Year below!


Eastern Region Volunteer of the Year

Jim Hemmer - Youngsville, New Y
Jim has been a volunteer for the past 12 years. He is actually one of the founding members and for the past four years, he’s been chairman. He had one goal when he became chairman and that was to make the Sullivan County Friends of NRA the most successful organization in the region. Using new and innovative ideas, he did just that taking a $25-thousand dollar event and making it a $60-thousand dollar event. For the first time in 24 years, there is a new number one event in New York State and that is Jim’s team.
Central Region Volunteer of the Year
Kenny Ruckel - Vanceburg, Kentucky
Kenny has been a volunteer for the Lewis County Friends of NRA for the past three years. He currently serves as Chairman and has built a team of 40 volunteers who are all dedicated to the cause. Outside the committee, Kenny has been a driving force in the establishment of a local gun club and range. That sweat equity resulted in an NRA Public Range Grant for more than $13-thousand dollars to assist with the second phase of construction. He is an ambassador to potential grant recipients resulting in three new organizations that obtained funding in 2016. His dedication is unparalleled and infectious to his team – always setting higher goals and striving to support the shooting sports.

South Central Region Volunteer of the Year
Ray Hollingsworth - Winnsboro, Texas
Ray has been Chairman of the North East Texas Friends of NRA Committee since it started two years ago. In their rookie year, they had almost 300 attendees and netted $43-thousand dollars. It was the highest net nationwide for a first year committee. Ray keeps the committee focused with a laser target on the mission of the NRA Foundation. He is extremely active with the grant process and you can find him around town encouraging local shooting sports groups to apply for grants. Ray is also an NRA certified Range Officer and a local business owner and positive leader in the community. You might say he’s a RAY of sunshine in East Texas!
Southern Region Volunteer of the Year
Marcia Parsons - Gurley, Alabama
Marcia has served as the Treasurer for the Huntsville Friends of NRA Committee for the past seven years. Not only does she keep accurate and irrefutable books and records, she is also instrumental in connecting with past attendees and selling tables for their event. In fact one event sold out 3 months ahead of time, so the committee had to create an auxiliary room at their venue. She inspires not only her local committee, but also those with whom she interacts with at other Friends of NRA events offering both practical encouragement and financial support. She is also extremely active with the National Federation of Republican Women. She epitomizes quiet strength while possessing the heart of an NRA warrior!
Southwest Region Volunteer of the Year
Rodney Wilkes - Napa, California
Rodney has been a volunteer at the Napa County Friends of NRA committee for more than 15-years and currently holds the position of chairman. Rod not only chaired his own event, he helped with eight other events this year. He spent three straight working a back to back to back event schedule one week before his own event. Collectively, those four events raised close to $200-hundred thousand dollars for Friends of NRA – not an easy feat in the state of California! On top of that he uses his FFL to move guns from one FFL to another to assist with the “Need not be present to win”.
Western Region Volunteer of the Year
Greg Collins - Homer, Alaska
Greg has been chairman for Homer Friends of NRA for the past four years dedicating 450 hours to our mission. He is the marketing billboard for the Homer committee as the voice for live radio interviews and as the coordinator for all social media posts. Greg is respected nationally having chaired an event in a town of 8-thousand and a net of over $100-thousand annually. This year he saved the committee $12-thousand dollars by personally recruiting a chef and flying him roundtrip to cook at an event. In his spare time he runs his two businesses and volunteers as a volunteer fireman and an EMT. He walks the walk and talks the talk – an ideal volunteer who exceeds all expectations.
2016 Committee of the Year
Falls of the Ohio, Indiana
The Committee of the Year goes to the Committee that had the most outstanding achievement and holds the honor of highest net income out of all 1,100 Friends of NRA committees. Since its inception in 1999 the Fall of the Ohio Friends of NRA committee has raised over 1.4 million dollars for The NRA Foundation. Their 2016 banquet had 986 attendees. Collectively between their banquet and a special event they raised more than $215,000. This lands the Fall of the Ohio Committee as the top grossing Friends of NRA committee for 2016.

The 2016 Volunteer of the Year Program is sponsored by Ripcord Travel Protection