RAISING MILLIONS FOR CHARITY BY KERRY LUFT

Jul 07, 2020

The numbers are astonishing.
22 — the number of years that the Kids & Clays Foundation has held sporting clays tournaments to raise money for the Ronald McDonald Houses across America
$21 million — the amount of net proceeds generated by those fundraisers over the years
27 — the number of annual events, with more to come
4 — the number of shooting organizations that have made Kids & Clays their official charity, including the National Sporting Clays Association, the National Skeet Shooting Association, the Amateur Trapshooting Association, and the Scholastic Clay Target Program
1 — the number of people who had the idea to start it all, and remain a driving force in the organization more than two decades later

That person is Glenn Lubeznik, founder and chairman emeritus of the Kids & Clays Foundation, which combines Lubeznik’s career as an owner/operator of McDonald’s franchises, his hobby of shooting and his passion for the Ronald McDonald Houses, which provide support and care for sick children and their families in cities worldwide.
“We’re able to provide financial support to Ronald McDonald Houses to make it possible for families to be close to their children at the worst time of their lives,” said Lubeznik, 68.

The story — one of vision, dedication and persistence, as well as of the most inspiring in sporting clays — began modestly, almost by chance.
A trap and skeet shooter in his youth, Lubeznik found it difficult to continue after college. Like many other young people, his career took precedence — in this case, running McDonald’s franchises in and around his hometown of Michigan City, Indiana. It was the family business, as his parents had purchased and opened their first franchise when young Glenn was just nine years old.

In 1998, he was driving in Three Oaks, Michigan, just across the border from Michigan City. He spotted a sign advertising the Deer Creek Hunt Club, offering sporting clays, 5-Stand and skeet as well as hunting. He made a U-turn, drove to the club and asked what sporting clays was all about. He left with an appointment to shoot the next day with members.


“I fell in love with the sport,” he remembered. “To this day, it’s still my favorite shooting sport.”

Within a month, he had signed up for a clays tournament benefiting Ducks Unlimited. He showed up early, quizzed the event chairs, shot the event and left with an idea.


“I asked my wife, Kathy, if she would help me set up a sporting clays fundraiser for our Ronald McDonald House near the University of Chicago, where I sat on the board of directors,” Lubeznik said. “I thought we could make $2,000 or $3,000.”

Though they had no experience with running a clays tournament, the Lubezniks figured it would not be much different than a golf fundraiser. The next step was to seek approval from the charity’s board, which traditionally supported anything that would help drive its mission of helping families.


Instead, the reaction shocked Lubeznik. “I got a lot of push back, forgetting I was in Chicago and the negativity most had about guns.
“So I asked, “Do you really think I would do or ask you to do anything that would hurt our Ronald House?”

With that, Lubeznik called for a vote and carried the day. Most of the board members, including many who had expressed concern, showed up to volunteer for the first fundraiser at Deer Creek, and some still do today. “When they saw what we were doing, they were amazed and had no idea that shooting sports like this existed,” he said.

The inaugural event brought in 121 shooters and exceeded Lubeznik’s dream of raising $3,000 more than five-fold: $15,800. It also launched a tradition of family, friends, employees and McDonald’s corporate staff and suppliers who worked that event and all that were to come. Kids & Clays was on its way.

That first tournament also created a second paradigm for the future. Lubeznik recalls sending out old-fashioned letters on McDonald’s stationary, asking companies in the shooting industry for support. The Golden Arches on the envelope piqued the interest of the late Art Ambrosi, who was then in charge of shooting promotions for Winchester Ammunition. He called Lubeznik, who invited him to Chicago for a tour of the local Ronald McDonald House.

Impressed by what he saw, Ambrosi sent merchandise to be used as door prizes, and Winchester remains a sponsor to this day, the first in a virtual who’s who of the shooting industry and many companies outside it. A full list can be seen at https://kidsandclays.com/sponsors/

One of those sponsors is trap manufacturer Promatic, Inc., whose CEO, Jim Moses, attended the very first event and has been involved ever since. “That’s our charity of choice,” said Moses, who now serves as vice president of the Kids & Clays board. “Back then it was only Glenn and Kathy, and now it’s a great organization with 30 people on our board.


“It was Glenn’s idea and mission, and I’m just excited to be a part of it and give back, and to be part of the sport we all love.”


When Ambrosi heard the results of the first event, he invited Lubeznik to Winchester’s NILO Farms shooting preserve near St.

Louis to meet with Winchester officials and Mike Hampton Sr., then the executive director of the NSCA and NSSA. Lubeznik walked away with a commitment for free ammunition, enough to justify a $20 upcharge to the entry fee for the next year’s tournament.

That event, also at Deer Creek, brought in 228 shooters and raised $58,000. A subsequent meeting at NILO provided the spark for another event, this time benefitting the St. Louis Ronald McDonald House. It raised $24,000.
“That gave me the thought if I can help the St. Louis Ronald House, I can help others,” Lubeznik said.

By 2002, the Ronald McDonald House National Sporting Clays Foundation was holding events in St. Louis, Orlando, Detroit, Columbus, Georgia, and the Chicago area. Each benefited the local Ronald McDonald House, a tradition that continues today. Each local House keeps 100 percent of the net proceeds for the event, and 100 percent of the proceeds from national ticket drawings go to the Houses as well.

NSCA, NSSA and ATA soon designated the foundation as their official charity, and in 2005, it was renamed the Kids & Clays Foundation. Lubeznik has stepped down as chairman but still serves on the board.

That initial tournament has grown to 27 scheduled for 2020, and Lubeznik said there are eight other Houses across the country waiting for an opportunity to host events. Kids & Clays’ annual fundraising topped $1 million in 2012 and has grown ever since, to a record $1.9 million last year.
“We host many charity events through the year, but the Kids & Clays fundraiser is special to us,” said Brett Seibert, general manager of Northbrook Sports Club near Chicago, site of one of the larger annual Kids & Clays events. “To see hundreds of people enjoying our sport, smiling and supporting kids and families that need the help? It just doesn’t get any better.

“It’s also a great way for NSCA and the shooting sports in general to put our positive image out there,” added Seibert, who serves on the NSCA Executive Council.

Along the way, the events serve as a nationwide recruiting drive for the clubs and clay shooting in general. About 30 percent of all participants in Kids & Clays events are first-time shooters. Others are volunteers who may be uncomfortable with shooting but want to support the charity.

“As it works out, once several of the volunteers see what the sport is all about, they will eventually try shooting,” Lubeznik said. “We’ve been able to bring many into our shooting world.”

And in the process, they have made life better for thousands of families. For more information on Kids & Clays, including a schedule of upcoming events, visit https://kidsandclays.com/



SCTP Sporting Clays Event Registration Now Open

Jun 18, 2020

(Marengo, OH) The Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) is partnering again with the Kids and Clays Foundation to host the 5th Annual registered two-day sporting clay charity event at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio!

The registered event will be held Friday July 17 and Saturday July 18 during SSSF’s Scholastic Clay Target Program National Championships. The event is open to parents and coaches of athletes attending the SCTP, the athletes themselves as well as the general public.

All registrants for the event will be entered in a drawing for a large prize package of firearms, outdoor and shooting gear worth more than $10,000! Prizes, donated by many great sponsors, are listed below.

All precautions possible are being taken for this event to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Please contact us for more information.

Click here to sign up for this event today or visit www.winscoreonline.com and select event “SCTP Registered Fundraiser.” The event is open to those participating or attending the SCTP National Championships as well as the public.

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is the nation’s leader in youth development shooting sports programs. The Kids and Clays Foundation supports a series of shooting events across the country with all proceeds benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities. All proceeds from this special two-day event will help each organization fulfill their mission.

“We’re not only happy to partner with Kids & Clays on this event but are thrilled to be able to offer such a large prize package just for participating in the event,” said Tom Wondrash, SCTP National Program Director. “While we had to jump through many hoops to make this year’s National Championships a reality, we are extremely thankful to those that helped and supported us! The Charity shoot with Kids & Clays has become a staple of our National’s and we hope to continue that tradition for years to come!”

Besides the great prizes, top finishers in this registered event will be recognized with trophies.

A portion of the proceeds, through the Kids & Clays Foundation, benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities, who provide housing and other help to tens of thousands of critically ill children and their families across the country each year.

“SCTP has worked tirelessly to ensure their Nationals and this event can occur in spite of the adversity we all are facing. We are blessed to be associated with such a quality organization as the SCTP,” said Doug Jeanneret, Kids & Clays Foundation executive director. “We certainly invite all who have an interest in shooting and also in helping youth to attend this marquis event.”

Proceeds will also benefit the SCTP’s scholarship program providing assistance to graduating high school seniors continuing their education in college. Scholarship applications are available on the SSSF’s website.

The Prize Package for participants of the sporting clay event includes:

  • Browning
    • Silver Field 12ga Shotgun
  • Beretta
    • A 300 Outlander Shotgun
  • Savage
    • 555 O/U 20ga Shotgun
  • Mossberg
    • MC1sc 9mm Handgun
  • Tristar
    • Upland Hunter 410ga (Ducks Unlimited Edition)
  • SKB
    • IS300 Field 12ga. Semi Auto
  • CZ USA
    • Drake 12ga. Over/Under
  • Winchester Ammunition – 2 cases
  • Nobel Sport Ammunition – 4 cases
  • Promatic
    • Pigeon Trap Machine
  • White Flyer
    • Assorted Merchandise
  • Briley
    • $200 Gift Certificate
  • ALPS
    • Chiller Chair
  • Camelbak
    • Assorted Water Bottles
  • Grabber
    • Cooling Towels and Bandanas
  • Camp Chef
    • Grill
  • Browning
    • ULU Hatchet
    • Outdoorsman Survival Combo
    • Blackout 6V Handlamp
    • Lona Shell Box Flint
    • Outdoorsman
    • Axe
    • Buckmark Storage Box 2 pack
  • Allen
    • Pistol Case
  • SGS
    • The Dauntless Shooting Glasses
  • K&C
    • Backpack
  • Champion
    • Electronic Ear Muffs
    • Eye, Ear Protection Combo
    • Hand Throwers

For more details on the special two-day sporting clay event or for more information on the SSSF’s Scholastic Clay Target Program visit www.sssfonline.org or contact Amanda Wondrash at awondrash@sssfonline.com or Tom Wondrash at twondrash@sssfonline.com.

For more information about the Kids & Clays Foundation visit www.kidsandclays.com or contact Doug Jeanneret (Doug@kidsandclays.com) or Zac Lemmon (Zac@kidsandclays.com) or call 219-874-2100.

For more information on the Cardinal Shooting Center, visit

www.thecardinalcenter.com.



Winchester Celebrates 20th Year as Ammunition Provider to Kids & Clays Foundation

May 06, 2020

Winchester Celebrates 20th Year as Ammunition Provider to Kids & Clays Foundation
EAST ALTON, Ill. (May 5, 2020) — Twenty million dollars raised to date by good people who enjoy the shooting sports and have a heart for children and their families—it is a news story that hasn’t been trumpeted loud enough. But that describes how the first Kids & Clays® shooting sports event to benefit families in need launched in 1999 with the support of Winchester® Ammunition and has grown to be a major fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) across the country.
“Our long-standing commitment—20 years—as the major ammunition supporter to Kids & Clays is extremely important,” said Matt Campbell, vice president of sales and marketing for Winchester Ammunition. “We are proud that our brand of more than 150 years is associated with organizations like Kids & Clays and that we can help further their mission.”
In 1999, Glenn and Kathy Lubeznik, McDonald’s owner/operators in northwest Indiana, chaired the first annual Sporting Clays Tournament benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland. With the support of Winchester Ammunition, McDonald’s owners/operators and McDonald’s suppliers, the event hosted 137 participants and generated more than $15,000 for RMHC.
The next year, companies and organizations such as Browning, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) followed Winchester’s lead and agreed to support the event as sponsors. More than 220 participants shot in the Chicago tournament, and the Chicago Ronald McDonald House was again the beneficiary, to the tune of over $58,000.
The rapid success of the Chicago area tournament inspired Mr. Lubeznik to share his knowledge of this fundraiser with Ronald McDonald Houses across the country.  Because of the potential for growth of this program, Mr. Lubeznik formed what is known today as the Kids & Clays Foundation. The Foundation’s goal was to promote shooting tournaments as a unique type of fundraising event for Ronald McDonald Houses across the nation.
Each year, Winchester donates over 1,000 cases of its famous shotshell target ammunition and merchandise to support over 25 Kids & Clays events. The local Ronald McDonald House Charities keep 100% of the net proceeds from each event. What started as tens of thousands of dollars annually in fundraising has grown exponentially with 2019 setting a record high of nearly $1.9 million raised, all to help critically ill children from coast to coast.

About Kids & Clays
Kids & Clays is an organization that assists Ronald McDonald Houses in coordinating their own shooting sports fundraisers. Kids & Clays solicits contributions of cash and merchandise from generous National Sponsors and Donors that are given to the local houses to help with their fundraising events.  Additionally, Kids & Clays provides an event manual that includes instructions for hosting an event and offers on-site support. www.kidsandclays.com

About Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is a global organization focused on keeping families together and near the care they need. The RMHC mission is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. They do this through Ronald McDonald Houses where families can stay while their child undergoes treatment, family rooms within hospitals for families to rest and regroup, Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles that provide mobile health services to needy communities, and through grants to extend the reach and impact of RMHC.  www.rmhc.org

About WinchesterA world leader in delivering innovative products, Winchester is The American Legend, a brand built on integrity, hard work and a deep focus on its loyal customers. Learn more about the history of Winchester by visitingWinchester.com or connect with us on Facebook at Facebook.com/WinchesterOfficial.
 
Gun owners care. You care about safety. You care about preventing unauthorized access to firearms. You care about bettering your community, and helping those in need, and conserving wildlife and wild places for generations to come. It’s time for gun owners to tell their stories, to show how they’re making a difference. NSSF®, the trade association for the firearms industry, has established the Gun Owners CareSM campaign to unite gun owners and the firearms industry in this common cause. Visit gunownerscare.org for more information.



Inland Manufacturing, Baron Technology and Gun Broker Team Up for Kids & Clays

Nov 22, 2019

Inland Manufacturing, Baron Technology and Gun Broker Team Up for Kids & Clays

Trumbull, CT — Inland Manufacturing, LLC, Baron Technology, Inc. and GunBroker.com are partnering to help critically ill children and their families through the Kids & Clays Foundation. Kids & Clays supports a national series of shooting events, with proceeds benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Inland has provided a Custom Carry 1911 to Baron Technology (BTI), who exquisitely hand-engraved the firearm for auction on GunBroker.com. The Inland 1911 in .45 caliber is certainly a “must own” for 1911 and other unique firearm enthusiasts, with proceeds going to a great cause.

“Inland Manufacturing is proud to be a part of this project, teaming up with such a great organization as the Kids & Clays Foundation,” said Ron Norton, owner of Inland. “With Baron’s expert help, we are able to provide something of great value to help people at a time when they need it the most.”

The auction is running from Sunday Nov. 17 through Dec. 1. You can access the firearm at www.gunbroker.com or directly through www.kidsandclays.com.

“We are truly grateful to Inland Manufacturing, Baron Technology and GunBroker for providing us the opportunity to raise funds for our cause,” said Doug Jeanneret, executive director of the Kids & Clays Foundation. “This is a chance to own an amazing custom handgun, while at the same time helping countless critically ill children and their families in their time of greatest need. All three companies are to be commended.”

In its own right, the Inland Manufacturing .45 Caliber semi-automatic is a great carry or range gun, but the special and intricate, hand engraved “proof model” make this a once in a lifetime opportunity for any gun owner. By bidding on this work of art, you are not only getting a chance to own a very special, one of a kind handgun, but you are also supporting a very special charity.

In addition to the hand engraved Custom Carry, Baron Engraving worked with Inland to create a laser engraved edition of the Custom Carry and is limiting that to 100 of these special edition firearms. The first of those 100 laser engraved firearms are also available now on www.gunbroker.com and through www.kidsandclays.com.

“Kids & Clays is a shining star for the firearms industry. There isn’t a charity to which we can point that does more to ‘give back’ to our local communities,” said David Baron, of Baron Technology, “All of us are very proud to be supporting Kids & Clays auctions and shooting events all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities.”

About Baron Technology, Inc.

For 34 years, Baron Technology, Inc. has worked with shooting associations, conservation groups and manufacturers to embellish firearms, cutlery and other products that become heirlooms and collectibles. Merging hand-engraving techniques used for centuries with today’s latest technology, Baron creates unique hand-engraved, sculpted-roll engraved, etched and multi-laser engraving processes to embellish all types of metal, synthetic and wood products. Baron services include a creative art department whose extraordinary custom designs are used by many industries and organizations around the world.

About Inland Manufacturing

Inland Manufacturing, LLC was founded in 2013 with a commitment to provide the highest quality firearm-related products for the practical shooting enthusiast. The Inland Manufacturing team has over 100 years of combined firearm related experience and applied knowledge in firearm design and manufacturing, as well as, experience in military, law enforcement, and competitive shooting sports.The M1 Carbines and 1911 pistols offered by Inland Manufacturing, LLC are manufactured in the USA with no compromises in quality!

For more information about Baron Technologies Inc., visit www.baronengraving.com

For more information about Inland Manufacturing visit https://www.inland-mfg.com

For more information about the Kids & Clays Foundation, visit www.kidsandclays.com.

Media Contacts: Ron Norton – ron.norton@inland-mfg.com, 937-835-0220
Ron Norton – Doug Jeanneret – doug@kidsandclays.com, 219-874-2100



SCTP – Kids & Clays Registration Now Open on Winscoreonline.com

Jul 08, 2019

SCTP – Kids & Clays Registration Now Open on Winscoreonline.com

(Marengo, OH) The Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) is partnering again with the Kids and Clays Foundation to host the 4th Annual registered two-day sporting clay charity event at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio!

The event will be held Friday July 19 and Saturday July 20 during SSSF’s Scholastic Clay Target Program National Championships. The event is open to parents, coaches, athletes and anyone attending the SCTP, the athletes themselves as well as the general public.

All registrants for the event will be entered in a drawing for a large prize package of firearms, outdoor and shooting gear worth more than $14,000! Prizes, donated by many great sponsors, are listed below.

Click here to sign up for this event today! The event is open to those participating or attending the SCTP National Championships as well as the public.

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is the nation’s leader in youth development shooting sports programs. The Kids and Clays Foundation supports a series of shooting events across the country with all proceeds benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities. All proceeds from this special two-day event will help each organization fulfill their mission.

“We’re not only happy to partner with Kids & Clays on this event but are thrilled to be able to offer such a large prize package just for participating in the event,” said Tom Wondrash, SCTP National Program Director. “This event will make for a great ending to what is shaping up as record-setting National Championships at Cardinal.”

Besides the great prizes, top finishers in this registered event will be recognized with trophies.

A portion of the proceeds, through the Kids & Clays Foundation, benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities, who provide housing and other help to tens of thousands of critically ill children and their families across the country each year.

“We are blessed to be associated with such a quality organization as the SCTP,” said Doug Jeanneret, Kids & Clays Foundation executive director. “We certainly invite all who have an interest in shooting and also in helping youth to attend this marquis event.”

Proceeds will also benefit the SCTP’s scholarship program providing assistance to graduating high school seniors continuing their education in college. Scholarship applications are available on the SSSF’s website.

To see the 2019 Schedule of Kids & Clays Foundation/RMHC shooting events and promotion sites, go to www.kidsandclays.com. About Kids & Clays Foundation: The Kids & Clays® Foundation supports Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) through shooting sports to improve the lives of critically-ill children and their families. By partnering with sponsors and shooters in a nationwide series of sporting clay and other shooting events, Kids & Clays generates funds to help support RMHC’s across the nation. For more information about the Kids & Clays Foundation and its mission, contact Doug Jeanneret (Doug@kidsandclays.com) or Zac Lemmon (Zac@kidsandclays.com) or call 219-874-2100.



A Brief History of Kids & Clays

Dec 21, 2018

Since 1999, the Kids & Clays Foundation has been on a mission to help critically ill children and their families win the fight of their lives. With the support of companies like Savage Arms, Kids & Clays has generated nearly $18,000,000 through sporting clays, trap and skeet events.


Flinching

Jun 05, 2018

I’m a C-class shooter and shoot regularly. Periodically, I’ll flinch on a shot and have no idea why. While I can’t detect a pattern, it tends to happen more often on the first target of a pair. Do you know of any research on why we flinch, and do you have any suggestions on ways to eliminate it?

  There is no mistaking a flinch — that momentary “hiccup” as you are about to pull the trigger of your shotgun. The most commonly held misconception is that a flinch is an anticipation of recoil caused by shooting heavy loads. It has been my experience that this is rarely the cause. Instead, it is caused by a sudden interruption of the acute visual connection between the target and the dominant eye. When this happens, your brain experiences a moment of visual confusion, causing the flinch. The cause of this visual disconnection is most often one of the following: 1) Improper gun fit: For a shooter with a high cheekbone or smaller facial structure, the dominant eye may wind up below the rib of the shotgun when the shotgun is fully mounted and the shot is executed. With this shooter, a higher comb is the solution. Have an adjustable comb installed or use a comb riser product like the Beartooth Comb Riser. 2) Spoiling the line: When the movement of your gun to the break point is such that the muzzle gets between your eye and the target, you inadvertently block your visual connection with the target as you execute the shot. This most often happens on targets that are descending at the break point. It also happens when a shooter is not committed to a break point and “rides the target.” 3) Gun mount: I have often worked with shooters who press their head into the gun at the end of the move, even if their gun fit and movement to the target is perfect. This positions the eye below the rib and blocks the shooter’s visual connection with the target. Your best path to flinchless shooting is to seek the assistance of an experienced instructor who can diagnose and help you resolve your flinch. Don Currie is NSCA’s Chief Instructor, an Orvis Wingshooting School instructor, and Master Class competitor. To get free shooting tips and videos, sign up for his monthly newsletter.  You can also see more tips from Currie at www.doncurrie.com. Read the original article at http://nssa-nsca.org/blog/2018/05/28/ask-the-instructor-flinching-2/