2013 Buckeye Bash attracts over 450 attendees and raises more than $25,000

Dick Heller speaks at Buckeye Firearms Foundation banquetBy Dean Rieck

On Saturday, March 16, 2013, Buckeye Firearms Foundation held its annual Buckeye Bash.

More than 450 Second Amendment supporters gathered at the Villa Milano to enjoy fellowship, food, and an evening filled with auctions and raffles to raise money for the Foundation's educational activities, including the Armed Teacher Training Program, which has made news nationwide and around the world.

Click here to see photos from the Bash.

Keynote speaker Dick Heller delivered a rousing account of the events leading up to District of Columbia v. Heller, the landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense. Today, he continues to fight for our freedom through The Heller Foundation, an advocacy organization challenging infringements of our Constitutional Rights to ”keep and bear arms” while promoting youth education and firearms safety programs.

Several Ohio VIPs attended, including Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy, State Auditor Dave Yost, and State Representatives Terry Johnson, Cheryl Grossman, Robert Hackett, Ron Hood, and Ron Maag. Also attending were John Rosco, representing Treasurer Josh Mandel, and Kevin Hoggit, Senator Rob Portman's Director of Special Projects.

Dean Rieck, Marketing and Communications Director for both the Foundation and Buckeye Firearms Association, said this was the best-attended event in the organization's history. "This morning, we hosted Dave Grossman in this very room," said Rieck, who served as event director for the Bash. "The 400 teachers attending broke all records for any of our events. Tonight, we're hosting more than 450 of our supporters to raise money for those teachers, and that breaks this morning's attendance record. It's a great day for liberty in Ohio."

In addition to the usual live and silent auctions, the Foundation unveiled a new game called Tons O' Guns, a variation on the wall of guns which is a favorite at the Friends of NRA banquets. Team Captain Aaron Kirkingburg said that it was a huge hit. "We display a lot of popular firearms and people donate $20 per play for a chance to win. You choose a playing card, tear it in half, keep one half and throw the other half into a bucket. When all the cards in the deck are gone, we draw a card and announce the winner, who gets to choose any gun on display."

In all, there were 11 happy winners. Black Wing Shooting Center provided the firearms and handled all transfers after the event at their retail store in Delaware, Ohio.

Linda Walker, Central Ohio Chair of Buckeye Firearms Association and member of the NRA Board of Directors, noted that one type of firearm made a special appearance during the festivities. "There's been a lot in the news about military-style rifles recently and demand is so great they're hard to find. But we got a tip that Gander Mountain had a shipment of AR-15s coming in, so I got up early and waited in line to get one to raffle off at the Bash. We called it the Evil Black Rifle Raffle and raised well over $4,000."

In all, the event netted more than $25,000 for the Foundation. "This was a very successful event," said Foundation President Jim Irvine. "There are no nicer people than our supporters. I'm so thankful that we have so many generous supporters and sponsors who take our freedoms seriously and put their money where their mouth is. They don't just support us at one event. They support us all year long, year in and year out."

Major sponsors included Ohio Gun Collectors Association, Columbus Cigar Car & Gun Club, Second Call Defense, Danville Outdoors, WCLT Radio, and U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation.

Other sponsors included Bruce Byler, Concealment Unlimited, Firelands Defense, Frank E. Smith Funeral Home & Crematory, Gale’s Vision Source, Gold Star Family Committee, State Representative Cheryl Grossman, John Herrington, John’s Notary Service, Phillip Mengali, Ohio Microwave, LLC, PROGO Target Systems, Jenifer Rothenbusch, Elmo Sherman, Shoot Extreme, Jennifer Simmons, Scott Strauss, Beechwold Training Center, Mann & Carducci Co., L.P.A., Larry Morley, National Rifle Association, Personal Protection, Charles Reinhardt, David Rossman, and Greg Wilk.

Auction donors included 2nd Amendment Sisters, Adams Arms, AIM Surplus, AimHi Shooting Range, American Specialty Ammo, American Tactical Imports, Armed To Protect, B3cFuel, Balloon Master’s Inc., Blind Horse Knives, Brass & Glass, Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Cabela’s, Cleland’s Outdoor World, Columbus Cigar, Car & Gun Club, Concealed Carry Wear, Concealment Unlimited, Michael Creamer, Custom Carry Concepts, Deep Conceal, Dillon Sportsman Center, Greg Ellifritz, Fin, Feather & Fur Outfitters, Gale’s Vision Source, Henry Repeating Arms, Hunter’s Needs, Rick Jones, KA-BAR, Kames Sports, Last Man Standing, Mad Duck Training, Mid Ohio Firearms, Jason Mihalick, Northwest Territorial Mint, On-Target Productions, The Powder Room, PROGO Target Systems, Purdy Lil’ Suri Alpaca Farm, Dean Rieck, River’s Edge Cutlery, Jim St. Clair, Sharp Shooter Supply, Glenn Sheller, Sportman’s Den, Surplus World, Think Tactical Training, Jerry Vincent, Alan Witten, Woodbury Outfitters, The Works, and Zassco Inc.

Dean Rieck is the Marketing Director of Second Call Defense and a Leader with Buckeye Firearms Association.

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