MAPLEVILLE, RI- The Light Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2001 by New England Patriot Matt Light, recently announced the date for its signature fundraising event. The 2011 Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out will be held this September 20th, 2011, at Addieville East Farm in Mapleville, Rhode Island.
Many big guns in the firearm industry continue to step up as major sponsors for the event. Ruger, a supporter of the Shoot-Out since year one, will be a silver sponsor for the third year in a row. Sig Sauer has also been named a silver sponsor. “The Light Foundation is a tremendous organization that continues to give back to the community by providing guidance and assistance to at-risk teens in several states,” said Bud Fini, VP of Marketing for Sig Sauer. “We’re honored to be associated with community leaders like Matt Light and thrilled to support the Light Foundation’s efforts.”
Well-known gun manufacturers such as Remington, and Smith & Wesson will also be playing a big role in this year’s Shoot-Out, for the fifth year in a row. In addition to contributing to the big fall event, S & W recently donated some Thompson Center shotguns for use at the Light Foundation’s recent Youth Turkey Hunt in Ohio, and Remington donated the ammunition. Both companies are pushing their own vendors to step up and support the Foundation in any way they can. White Flyer will once again be donating the clay targets for the clay shooting part of the tournament, and new sponsor MGM Targets will be donating targets for the handgun shooting range.
In years past, gun enthusiasts have enjoyed handgun demonstrations by the likes of two of the world’s fastest shooters, Jerry Miculek and Max Michel, Jr. Michel is a three-time World Speed Shooting Champion, five-time USPSA National Champion, and two-time US Steel National Champion, with more than one-hundred other regional and major wins. Miculek, a five-time USPSA 3-Gun National Champion who is renowned as the fastest revolver shooter in the planet, holds multiple world records in competitive shooting. Their lightening-quick moves have thrilled past attendees of the Celebrity Shoot-Out.
For the second year in a row, the event will also offer a handgun shooting contest, which pits shooters of all skill sets against each other. The contest was so popular last year that Light and representatives from the major gun companies decided to expand its scope this year and offer attendees more chances to win. Representatives from Ruger, Remington, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, and other participating companies will be on hand to give direction and monitor the safety procedures set in place.
The Light Foundation, which runs different programs for youth from across the country, uses the sport of shooting as a teaching tool at their Camps, and that’s why Light chose to hold this type of fundraiser. Proceeds from this one-of-kind event benefit the youth-based organization’s unique outdoor learning experiences, including: a character development football camp, a leadership camp held in Ohio, and several academic scholarships. By challenging the at-risk teens he works with to go beyond their comfort zone and exceed their normal efforts, Light hopes to instill honesty, accountability and responsibility in young people. In the eight years since the organization was founded, it has raised more than $2 million to support these important programs.
The Shoot-Out offers participants the opportunity to match their shooting skills against Light, his teammates, and a host of local and national celebrities including Matt’s teammate Tom Brady, comedian Lenny Clarke and Olympic skier Bode Miller. And you don’t have to be a crack shot to have a great time! Instructors at the Rhode Island course will teach rookies the basics of sporting clay shooting and provide all the necessary equipment.
Light says he wanted to develop a unique high-profile charity event that would raise funds and exposure for his Foundation, and his love of the outdoors naturally came into play. “We’re thrilled to be going into our 7th year with this event. We are so humbled by the many sponsors and donors who come back year after year to support us. Their generosity means so much to me, the Foundation, and the kids who benefit from the funds raised. The Shoot-Out continues to grown each season, and everyone anticipates getting out on the course and having some fun,” he added. “We do everything we can to make this event unique, and special for the guests, and at the end of the day, we’ve done something even more special for these kids.”
Shooters in foursomes from all over New England and beyond will converge at Addieville to mingle with celebrities, enjoy a game-themed lunch from New England’s Wild Cheff, Denny Corriveau, and dinner by renowned steakhouse The Capital Grille. Spirits will be provided by Harpoon and Three Olives, hand-rolled cigars from New England Cigar Factory, lakeside fly fishing and various exhibitions for the avid outdoorsman and outdoorswoman. The festivities at the after-party will kick off with Lenny Clarke’s team of well-known comedians, and lead into a spirited live auction that has to be experienced to be believed. “No one is safe from Lenny’s appeals,” says Light. “He’ll sell just about anything for the Foundation, so if you’re not ready to engage in a real bidding war, he will seek you out and find you. He takes no prisoners!”
The Celebrity Shoot-Out has brought many of Light’s famous friends together to support the cause. On past rosters: current teammates Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Dan Koppen, Nick Kaczur, Logan Mankins, Stephen Gostkowski, Gary Guyton, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski to former teammates Randy Moss, Tedy Bruschi, Adam Vinatieri, Larry Izzo, Lonnie Paxton, Russ Hochstein, Joe Andruzzi, Ellis Hobbs, Adalius Thomas and Mike Vrabel, to Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Andre Tippett, and a host of others. Top chefs Ming Tsai and Michael Schlow, musicians Sully from Godsmack and Martin Sexton have also attended, and Light expects the guest list to be just as long this time around.
So is this a guys-only event? No way, says Light. “Many women are amazing shooters, and in fact, three years ago, the top shooter was Patti Mastroianni.” Many of the 250-plus shooters who register for this event have never held a shotgun beforehand; they have the opportunity to arrive early at Addieville for safety lessons and some training time with the professionals on site.
Addieville East Farm, founded in 1980, is located on 400 private acres in Mapleville, Rhode Island, and offers clay shooting, archery, dog training, and fishing. It’s also New England’s premiere pheasant hunting preserve. Each year, manager Jack O’Brien designs two 15-station courses with challenging, high-flying clay targets specifically for this event.
Since the first tournament in 2004, the Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out has been the main source of financial support for The Light Foundation’s efforts on behalf of youth. Light hopes the funding will continue to grow, as the need for more programs also grows. “Our goal is to be a beacon for charitable organizations, athletes and youth,” he adds, “to work hard, put their best foot forward, and strive to become champions in the game of life.”
About the Light Foundation:
The Light Foundation was established in 2001 by 3-Time Super Bowl Champion and 3-Time Pro-Bowler Matt Light. Matt was drafted in 2000 out of Purdue University and has become the anchor for the Patriots Offensive Line. The Light Foundation strives to instill and augment the values of responsibility, accountability and hard work by providing youth with unique outdoor learning experiences that assist them in reaching their highest potential. Its goal is to lead young people down a path to becoming responsible members of their communities who are capable of passing on the torch of leadership and achievement to their friends and families. Matt Light received the third New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award in 2005, and in 2008, was presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his outstanding work in the community. Since its inception in 2001, the Light Foundation has raised nearly $2.5 million for various programs and initiatives. For more information, visit www.MattLightfoundation.org
The Goodwin Group:
Margrette Mondillo or Tara Frier, (508) 404-1745