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Central Region Volunteer of the Year, Jim Kelley

The success of Friends of NRA events hinges greatly on the dedication of our volunteers.

posted on April 1, 2024

The success of Friends of NRA events hinges greatly on the dedication of our volunteers. Without their tireless efforts, we wouldn't be able to generate funds for vital local and national initiatives. One exemplary volunteer is Jim Kelley, who has made a world of difference in Minnesota. Eric Linder, Minnesota Field Representative, speaks volumes about Jim's contributions.

Jim is praised for his exceptional organizational skills as a chairman. He fosters seamless communication within his committees. His community holds him in high regard for his integrity and dedication. Known for his frugality, Jim ensures that every expense is carefully managed, with no freebies and everything being underwritten. His innovative approaches, such as introducing new fundraising methods like raffles and seeking sponsorship from local businesses, have significantly boosted our proceeds over the years.

In his role as Grant Chairman for the past nine years, Jim's commitment to excellence is unwavering. He maintains constant communication with delegates and assists Eric in ensuring smooth operations year-round. Jim's leadership extends to managing the annual scholarship program, where he oversees a dedicated board to ensure its success.

Jim reflects on his 17-year tenure as Committee Chairman, during which he's seen remarkable growth in attendance and fundraising. Jim has cultivated a loyal following, with the event consistently selling out.

As Jim stated, “I have always lived by the motto, treat people like you like to be treated. We treat all our attendees as part of our extended family. To me our event is more than an event, it’s a time to gather with friends and support a great cause. You cannot have a large successful banquet without putting in the work. Our event is fast moving and never slows down. As Chairman I always visit every table and ask for comments and thank them for coming. The success is from good planning, filling the room and having a high energy evening. Part of the energy credit goes to our State Rep, Eric Linder, who is the best at what he does to keep people entertained.”

To all the volunteers and supporters of Friends of NRA, your dedication truly enriches our communities. Thank you for making a tangible difference in our mission.

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