GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A small West Michigan school is raising eyebrows over an upcoming fundraiser in which eight guns will be raffled off, an event that organizers say brings in tens of thousands of dollars.
Barry County Christian School’s third annual sporting clay shoot fundraiser is set for May 6 at the Caledonia Sportsman Club in Alto. The event includes a clay shoot and pistol competition, a cornhole tournament, lunch and several guns that will be raffled off.
“We’ve got an awesome gun board,” said Brandon Strong, the executive director of Barry County Christian Education Association. “There’s a custom AR-15 made by a shop not too far from here. We’ve got a couple of handguns, a couple of shotguns. There’s a variety of stuff for everybody.”
Strong said they raised more than $20,000 from last year’s event. That money went to help supplement tuition cost for families in need.
“We allow people of any kind of socioeconomic background to attend our school and about 35% of those don’t pay full price,” he said. “So this event is really about being able to allow kids that maybe couldn’t afford private Christian education, to be able to afford it.”
One person who declined to speak to News 8 on camera said in an email that they “thought it was very inappropriate for a school to have this type of fundraiser regardless who is doing it.”
“Really? (A) Christian school supporting gun ownership. How Sad!” another person wrote on Facebook.
Strong said that while they have received several objections to the fundraiser, he invites everyone out to see what it’s all about.
“We do everything as far as the Federal Firearms License and the state raffles. All of that. People want to win things that they’re interested in and there seems like there’s a lot of people who are interested in winning guns and shooting guns and doing it safely, respectfully and responsibly,” he said.