Learn about one woman’s legacy and Routt County’s heritage at the 10th annual Memorial Fun Shoot event
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As a kid, the jolting, revolving sound of a gun instilled a fear in Deb Holmes’ five-year old self.
When her family moved to Colorado, she remembers her parent’s rifle shop they owned in town. They were known as fast draw champions with the trophies to prove it.
“It’s been a long road to how I’ve gotten to where I am now,” Holmes said, an avid and certified firearms instructor and specialist. “Lorna who helped me with that.”
Typically seen in her favorite floppy hat, Holmes said Lorna Lou Farrow, was known as an advocate for introducing and empowering women and children to the recreational and competition side of gun use in a safe, informative and empowering environment.
After Farrow passed in 2009 at age 58, when she was struck by a dump truck while checking her mailbox on U.S. Highway 40, her influence and spirit lives on through the Routt County 4-H Council Lorna Lou Farrow Memorial Fund.
Not only that, the annual Memorial Fun Shoot was created in her honor to raise money for programs meant to educate and introduce youth, ladies and families to safe, responsible shooting.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event that introduces participants of all ages to several forms of shooting sports. The annual event will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Routt County Rifle Club, located on U.S. Highway 40.
All participants are required to hear a safety presentation before receiving instruction at eight firearm stations. They include .22-caliber rifle, black powder rifle, shotgun, archery, air pistol/rifle, .22-caliber pistol and 9 mm pistol stations as well as a shotgun and muzzleloader station under the supervision and instruction of qualified instructors.
“Firearms are tools like a basketball or baseball but instead of trying to be the fastest or strongest, it allows kids and people to compete where their size doesn’t matter as much,”Holmes said. “It levels the playing field. You’re competing against yourself and your accuracy.”
Through this event Holmes said she hopes to introduce and educate people about a sport, a tool that Routt County’s western heritage was created upon.
“My mission in life is to ensure kids are responsible and safe with firearms that they understand these are, in fact tools but there is force involved and they can be dangerous and teaching them a respect for it as well,”Holmes said.
According to the event’s press release the Routt County 4H Shooting Sports membership has continued to grow from about 30 or 40 youth to 89 youth participating in 135 shooting sports projects in the past 3 years.
Volunteer instructors who must be certified by the State 4H Shooting Sports team conduct these projects. In the last three years the roster of qualified 4H instructors has increased from five to 10.
“It gives them something to think about with what’s a safe activity and you’d be surprised, they know the difference,”Holmes said.
Kids Holmes said in her experience, are actually much more malleable to teach than adults.
“If you teach kids what’s right, they do what’s right,”Holmes said.
The funds raised by the fun shoot for LFMF provide financial support to local 4H Shooting Sports groups by helping to fund training for new instructors, gear and ammunition for new members to use and registration and travel expense aid for State and National competitors.
Holmes said in the last two to three years, funds raised from the event range from $4,000 to $5,000.
LFMF also helps to fund tuition to local ladies to attend shooting camps and training at yearly action shooting camps like Babes with Bullets and weekly Ladies Night at Routt County Rifle Club.
“It’s a sport,”Holmes said. “It can be competitive. And it requires a good level of safety consciousness. Lorna didn’t want it to be like TV, where everybody has a gun and fires them into space. She wanted people to be responsible with gun ownership.”
For more information or to make a donation, visit http://www.lornafarrow.com.
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