April 13, 2023 marked the return of the National Foundation Banquet and Auction at the 152nd NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits held in Indianapolis, IN. Hosting just over 500 attendees, The NRA Foundation raised more than $212 thousand net dollars. All net proceeds from the banquet will go towards supporting the shooting sports and the future of the Second Amendment.
The evening kicked off at 4pm with a pre-event reception offering a “Pick a Prize” game and a “Locked and Loaded” game card available for purchase, which entered attendees into 5 key games inside the event. At 5pm, the doors officially opened as guests were welcomed into the main event space. Once inside, they were greeted with a large silent auction, numerous sponsored games, bucket raffles, and everyone’s favorite, the live auction which lined the front of the stage.
As dinner was served, the evening’s events kicked off with the Friends of NRA Region Volunteer and Committee of the Year awards. This presentation featured four volunteers from across the country whose devotion to the Friends of NRA program is unmatched, and the top netting Friends of NRA committee in the program.
During dinner, the Premier Sponsor of the banquet, Henry Repeating Arms, gave a powerful presentation to three veterans with humbling war stories. One honoree, Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War, Sergeant First Class Sammy L. Davis (Army), shared a heartwarming story of how he learned to play the harmonica during the war, followed by a mesmeric performance of “Shenandoah”. Everyone in attendance was elated as he offered his harmonica to the live auction lineup.
Henry Repeating Arms also awarded a check of $25,000 to The NRA Foundation’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program, accepted by Mr. Tyler Schropp, Executive Director of the Office of Advancement. "The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program is one of NRA’s most important initiatives,” stated Schropp. “This generous contribution from Henry Repeating Arms will help us reach even more kids through this gun accident prevention program and keep them safe. Thank you, Henry, for making this mission your priority."
The energy in the room was overpowering as attendees prepared for the start of the live auction, which featured something for everyone; from jewelry, to guided hunt excursions, firearms, a one-of-a-kind Yellowstone collage, and even a trailer. The highest bid item was an Ohio Ordnance M2-SLR .50 Cal, which came fully donated from Ohio Ordnance.
The NRA Foundation would like to thank everyone who participated in the first National Foundation Banquet and Auction in four years. This banquet would not have been possible without the attendees, or the continued support of our donors and event sponsors. A special thank you to Henry Repeating Arms as the Premier Event Sponsor, and to Century Arms, Kimber, Taurus, and SIG Sauer for being Contributing Sponsors.
The NRA Foundation hopes to continue this success next year at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Dallas, TX May 17 - 19, 2024.