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Tag: Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation

Leach Promoted to National Director

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is happy to announce Rick Leach is being promoted to the role of national director for the Scholastic Action Shooting Program.

Ben Berka, SSSF president and executive director, said, “Rick brings a great deal of direct program knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to the role of national director. Like many employees at SSSF, he’s a guy who started out as a parent volunteer and has made his way in our organization through his proven dedication to our programs, hard work and his desire to help people. I’m pleased to have Rick at the helm of the SASP and a part of our senior leadership team at the SSSF.”

The new SASP national director, Leach, is no stranger to the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and SASP as he has been involved as a volunteer and coach with the SCTP since 2011 before starting a SASP program in 2012.  Leach has previously served as the SASP volunteer state advisor in Wisconsin and played key role in growing Wisconsin into one of the largest SASP member-states in the country. Leach has served as SASP Director of Development since November, 2015, interim SASP national director since May of 2017 and is retiring from a 31-year law enforcement career, most recently as a sergeant with the Cedarburg (WI) Police Department.

“I am truly honored for this opportunity to take on this leadership role in the SSSF  and continue growing the Scholastic Action Shooting Program,” Leach said. “Through the SASP our volunteer state advisors, coaches, parents and sponsors are making a positive difference for youth across America.  I look forward to working with all of these passionate program stakeholders to grow the SASP.”

Leach begins his new role effective January 1st, 2018.

Governor Welcomes SPP to Its First Indiana State Championship

Governor Michael R. Pence of Indiana welcomed the Scholastic Pistol Program to its first Indiana State Championship with a proclamation, declaring shooting sports as “enriching the lives of young Hoosiers by instilling discipline and responsibility while also promoting liberty.”

Eight squads participated in the state’s inaugural SPP State Championship on June 15. Hoosier Daddy’s SPP team hosted the match at the Hoosier Hills Rifle and Pistol Club in Columbus, IN. A total of $9,800 in endowment funds were awarded to the participating teams.

In the Junior Rimfire Division, the Bluegrass Sportsman League squad took 1st place honors, with Hoosier Daddy’s Squad 2 taking 2nd and Smokin’ Dragons Squad 1 coming in 3rd. Smokin’ Dragons Squad 2 took Gold in the Junior Centerfire Division with Hoosier Daddy’s Squad 1 taking Silver. In the Senior Centerfire Division, the Target Busters won the Gold medal, and Hoosier Daddy’s Squad 3 took 1st in Senior Rimfire.

“The state of Indiana recognizes the sport of shooting for enriching the lives of young Hoosiers by instilling discipline and responsibility while also promoting liberty,” the governor stated. “Indiana is bettered by the talents of its young people, and the state is proud to recognize the dedication of each and every participant in attendance this weekend.”

His statement continued, “I would like to thank the members of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, MidwayUSA Foundation, and the Indiana Youth Shooting Sports Foundation for hosting this event and taking time to promote the sport of shooting to young people. Thank you to the many instructors, families, and volunteers who provide training and encouragement to the participants.”

“We are really excited that SPP is growing in Indiana,” said Jack Parker, Hoosier Daddy’s SPP assistant coach. “As a professional educator, I see the huge value of programs such as SPP as it requires athletes to not only be good citizens and work hard to succeed, but it also teaches safety and respect at a level few other programs can match.”

Serving as Match Directors were Jack Parker and Nick Mason, and they were assisted by Safety Officers Mike Miller and Tom Brummett. On hand to assist were SPP National Director Scott Moore, SPP Program Manager Tammy Mowry, and GLOCK SPP liaison and SSSF Board member Ed Fitzgerald.

“Jack Parker, Nick Mason, and the entire coaching staff of Hoosier Daddy’s have made this inaugural Indiana State Championship a great success,” said Mowry. “We look forward to continued success here in the Hoosier State!”

SSSF Announces Staff and Operational Changes

ImageGenScholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) announces several executive and operational changes to accommodate our continued growth and position the Foundation for planned future expansion.

The Board of Directors has created a new position, Director of Foundation Development, which will be filled by our current Executive Director and President, Dan Hathaway, leveraging his extensive background in fundraising and relationship management.

“While the Executive Director has previously shouldered the dual role of operations and development, we are at the right point in our organizational evolution that a Director of Foundation Development is now warranted,” said Louise K. Terry, Chairperson of the SSSF Board of Directors. “Dan’s prior experience in development and his past two years with SSSF make him uniquely qualified for this position.”

Hathaway will assume responsibility for developing and managing new funding sources and relationships, building on the support of current sponsors and patrons. “We are fortunate to have dedicated benefactors for whom we are very grateful, especially Larry and Brenda Potterfield, as well as the MidwayUSA Foundation, who continue to support our efforts generously,” said Terry.

Assuming the role of President and Executive Director will be Ben Berka, currently a member of the SSSF Board of Directors and the Shooting Sports Coordinator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Berka created the Iowa DNR Shooting Sports Program from the ground up and has led the SCTP program there to become the largest participating state in the country. In 2013, Berka launched the Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP) in Iowa through the DNR.

“Ben Berka has been SSSF’s most successful State coordinator, and his results are unmatched by any other individual or state organization,” said Terry. “SCTP and SPP programs throughout the country will benefit from his experience, and we’re expecting him to direct a dynamic and exciting path forward for our programs.”

“I’m honored to join the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation in this new role,” Berka commented. “The staff members and volunteers involved in the Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Pistol Program are some of the most passionate, dedicated individuals on the planet. As part of the SSSF team, along with Program Directors Tom Wondrash (SCTP) and Scott Moore (SPP), I look forward to guiding the continued growth of youth shooting sports across the nation.”

Hathaway and Berka will assume their new positions effective March 31, 2014.

In conjunction with the upcoming executive staff changes, SSSF will also relocate home-office administration and financial operations from the current Maumee, Ohio office to the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas.

“As the Headquarters of the National Skeet Shooting Association and National Sporting Clays Association, the National Shooting Complex is a natural choice to house the SSSF’s operations,” said Terry. “In addition to the convenience of San Antonio as a central, easily-accessible location for our staff and volunteers from around the country, we will benefit from the proximity to our partners, the NSSA and NSCA. Since we are the largest feeder program for youth shooters to NSSA-NSCA, we envision this as a win-win relationship.”

As NSSA President Bob De Francesco pointed out, this move is expected to be a great benefit to both organizations. The SCTP program has helped NSSA-NSCA grow by introducing the shooting sports to many young shooters and their families. The synergies between these organizations make us perfect partners and neighbors. Having SSSF operations in the same complex as NSSA-NSCA will facilitate continued cooperation in the future. “Rest assured, however, this does not mean that the National Championships will be moved to San Antonio,” said Terry. “In order to hold our event with both shotgun and pistol competitions, we plan to continue to utilize the WSRC facility in Sparta, IL, for our Nationals.”

We trust that you share in our excitement with these announcements, and we look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of student athletes and adult volunteers to create even more opportunities for you and your teams in the coming months.

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