LEETONIA- A local organization is joining with the community to give back to wounded veterans.
The Leetonia Sportsman's Association, in conjunction with numerous local charitable organizations, will host an Ironman Clay Bird Shoot Saturday to raise money for The Independence Fund which provides wounded veterans with all-terrain wheelchairs for outdoor activities.
According to Bob Clutter, the club's vice president, the club became aware of The Independence Fund when a member met someone with one of the vehicles at a sports show. He said the club then researched the program and found that 99 cents of every dollar goes toward purchasing the ATV wheelchairs, which range in cost from $12,000 to $15,000.
"We felt like...we're not doing (the veterans) a favor, it's our responsibility," Clutter said. "They've given us our freedom, it's the least we can do to help them get back outdoors to do what they love."
The event will begin with a military color guard flag raising at 8 a.m. Shooting with trap, five stand and sporting clays will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 9 p.m. A Chinese auction will also be held for those who do not shoot. Every penny above the actual cost will be donated directly to The Independence Fund.
Clutter said that the club is expecting between 500 and 600 shooters and that several business and civic groups throughout the area have been extremely generous, offering hope that the event will raise $15,000. He said the wheelchair will go to someone in northeast Ohio.
"It's an expensive piece of equipment, but its giving some of their freedom back," he noted.
If the event goes well, Clutter said it may be held annually.
For information about The Independence Fund visit www.independencefund.org or find them on Facebook.