Would–be sharpshooters are invited to come out to Center Target Firearms and Indoor Range in London to show off their skills and help the local Marine Corps Toys for Tots Campaign.
The range is hosting a pistol competition through Dec. 13, with all proceeds going to help provide toys for needy children across Whitley, Knox and Laurel counties.
“We gave toys to 2,976 children last year,” said Greg Sims, Commandant of the JC Paul Detachment 1148 of the Marine Corps League, based in Whitley County. “Right now, we are at about 1,500 kids with quite a few organizations still to contact us. I’m expecting at least the same.”
The competition is $10 to enter. Participants may purchase an unlimited number of targets, turning in their best one.
Shooters will fire 10 shots: One at 10 yards, three at 15 yards, three at 20 yards, and three at 25 yards.
No red dots or laser sites are permitted.
A range officer will be on-site to watch and score targets.
“They did this for us last year and raised about $800,” Sims said of Center Target.
Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to the top three shooters in male and female categories.
The local detachment is also seeking toy and monetary donations to help with its efforts.
Toy donation boxes have been set up at 170 locations throughout the tricounty area.
In addition, several smaller boxes for monetary donations may be found at local businesses.
Monetary donations may also be made online through the national organization at www.toysfortots.org. Click on, “find a local campaign,” and scroll down to find Kentucky, and then select, Knox, Laurel or Whitley County to go to the page.
You may also go directly to the local campaign at www.london-ky.toysfortots.org.
While all donations are welcomed and appreciated, Sims said the local organization is most in need of items for boys and girls, ages infant to 2, and for older children.
“A lot of people don’t know what to buy for the older ones,” Sims said. “There is nothing wrong with a cologne set, watch, or radio controlled car or drone. For the girls, makeup kits, blow dryers, and inexpensive jewelry are great. Arts and crafts, board games, and card games also work.”
The organization is also still in need of warehouse space where it may store leftover items for next year, and where organizers may collect and sort donations.
“If someone has space they are willing to donate, we would be happy to give them paperwork for tax purposes,” Sims said.