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Shooting club plans benefit match for Heinle

Shooting club plans benefit match for Heinle

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Handgun enthusiasts will have the chance to raise money for Bob Heinle this weekend at a benefit shooting match.

The Big Sky Practical Shooting Club is sponsoring the Sunday competition to raise funds for Missoula City Police Officer Heinle who was shot in the line of duty in October.

"There's a lot of folks who enjoy the proper use of firearms and it's just a way for us to raise money to benefit Bob," said Paul Miner, president of the club.

The event, which will be held at the Deer Creek Shooting Range near East Missoula, costs $10 per entrant.

There also will be a donation bucket at the competition for spectators who want to give money.

Unlike other club tournaments, though, there will be no trophies at this competition. Instead, Miner plans to give all the money that's raised directly to the Bob Heinle fund.

"Everyone felt it was a wonderful idea," he said. "We were all very saddened by the (Heinle) shooting because it's a tragic event."

The sport of practical shooting involves using handguns to hit moving metal targets at varying distances. Speed and accuracy are a part of the competition.

Normally, the club only hosts matches March through October, but Miner said club members wanted to do something special for Heinle and were willing to extend the season for that reason.

Miner hopes the community won't get the wrong impression about a holding a shooting competition to benefit an officer who has been shot. Club competitions, he said, adamantly support and promote safe shooting practices.

"We enjoy this sport and it's very safe," he said. "We have many law enforcement (officers) come and shoot with us … We feel very good about our position in the community."

In fact, he said, supporting the community is part of what the club does on a routine basis. Each year, the 100-member club also hosts the Blackwood Memorial Match, dedicated to Ned and Celine Blackwood, an Ovando couple murdered at their ranch in 1988.

Proceeds from that tournament go to support a safe shooting program for children, he said.

Also, the club hosts the annual Jo Kimery Memorial Match in memory of the Missoula County Sheriff's deputy who was shot in 1984. Many local law enforcement officers participate in that tournament every year, according to Miner.

So far, Miner has mailed over 100 tournament invitations to shooters across the state and expects at least 40 competitors to enter.

Participants can register when they arrive at the tournament, which is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Friday - 12/4/98
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