An all-day fundraising event to benefit the Light Foundation; Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Putnam Investments, Taco, Doug King Builders and Energi Named As Lead Sponsors
The Light Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2001 by former New England Patriot Matt Light, is ready to mark a major big milestone with its 10th annual Matt Light Celebrity Shoot Out taking place on September 23rd at the world-class Addieville East Farm in Mapleville, Rhode Island.
The Shoot-Out offers participants the opportunity to match their shooting skills against Light and celebrity guests. In the past, attendees have included: New England Patriots Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Jerod Mayo, Rob Ninkovich, Vince Wilfork, Julian Edelman, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Marcus Cannon, Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Ryan Wendell, Stephen Gostkowski, former teammates Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Randy Moss, Dan Koppen, Tedy Bruschi, Adam Vinatieri, Larry Izzo, Lonnie Paxton, Russ Hochstein, Ellis Hobbs, Adalius Thomas, Mike Vrabel, Sammy Morris and Joe Andruzzi, plus Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Andre Tippett and a host of others. Two of the world’s top shooters, Max Michele, Jr. and Jerry Miculek, top chefs Ming Tsai and Michael Schlow, musicians Sully from Godsmack, Martin Sexton, Ryan Montbleau and The Brothers McCann have also performed and participated. TV star Mike Fourtner of “Deadliest Catch,” the cast and crew of reality TV’s “Wicked Tuna,” and actor Kevin Chapman of CBS TV’s “Person of Interest” have attended in the past and regard it as one of their favorite events. As Matt Light notes, “We’re always working to add more famous faces to the mix, and this year we’re pulling out all the stops. It’s our 10th Celebrity Shoot-Out, after all!”
Last year, Light added a “Hot Shot” contest where celebrity guests got to test their handgun skills against one another for bragging rights and a beautifully-engraved Sig Sauer P226 pistol and a custom suit by upscale clothier, Mr. Sid. The best score, time and number of targets takes the prize. Last year’s winner was Logan Mankins, who will look to defend his title come September. World class shooters will demonstrate their top-notch skills for the crowd and may challenge Light to another year of handgun competition. “This is a competitive bunch, so we should have a lot of fun trying to out-do each other!” jokes Light.
Shooters in foursomes from all over New England and around the country will converge on Addieville to mingle with celebrities, enjoy a unique game lunch prepared by New England’s Wild Cheff, Denny Corriveau, and enjoy lakeside fly fishing, a 3-D pop-up archery course, a host of exhibitions, unique raffles, and a handgun competition put on by all of the participating gun companies. After a fast-paced but fun slay shooting tournament wraps up, renowned steakhouse The Capital Grille will provide dinner, Harpoon, Three Olives, and Cabin Fever Whisky will be pouring the spirits, and Rolling Stogies will once again park their mobile cigar lounge tent-side and supply hand-rolled cigars. The after party will feature live music, before Light takes the stage to run an unforgettable live auction with help of some surprise celebrities, including WAAF radio personality Greg Hill, actor-comedian Lenny Clarke, and auctioneer John Terrio. The whole day will be capped off by a customized fireworks display by Colonial Fireworks — usually reserved for major events; it is unlike any finale that anybody has ever seen.
The Foundation has announced several new top sponsors for this fall’s event: firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson has joined on as a Target sponsor, doubling its support from previous years. “Smith & Wesson is proud to support the Light Foundation once again by sponsoring the annual Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out,” says Director of Marketing Paul Pluff. “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. We’re simply honored to be associated with community leaders like Matt Light and thrilled to support the Light Foundation’s efforts,” Pluff adds.
Other firearms manufacturers Ruger and Sig Sauer, financial powerhouse Putnam Investments, HVAC giant Taco, andinsurance company Energi have signed on as a Silver sponsors, and Douglas A. King Builders is this year’s Exhibition sponsor. Other well-known brands such as Remington, Randolph Eyewear, Lighthouse Computer Services, Dunkin’ Donuts, Jet Blue, and Pepsi will be lending their support, as well.
Since its inception in 2004, this fundraiser has helped contribute over $5 million dollars to the Light Foundation’s youth-based initiatives, which consist of various scholarships, football camps, and outdoor learning experiences. A good deal of the proceeds have helped build out Chenoweth Trails, a 400-plus acre facility in Light’s hometown of Greenville, OH, where he runs a leadership camp for at-risk teens from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, his home state of Ohio, Tennessee, and Lafayette, Indiana. Light is continually upgrading and expanding the facility to support larger nonprofit groups’ efforts, and impact more kids from around the country.
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. “I still can’t believe we are still at it after 10 years! We’ve been fortunate to have generous sponsors and donors who come back every year, as well as new supporters who jump on board when they hear about our mission. I’m truly humbled by their willingness to help out on so many levels,” adds Light. “The Shoot-Out has grown from a small, but unique fundraiser into a world-class event – the premiere shooting event in the country. In the world of charity events, there’s really nothing like it out there, and I’m confident that’s what keeps everyone coming back!”
Ladies are encouraged to join. Light says that many women are amazing shooters, and reveals that some…”have actually won the whole thing!” A fair majority of the 350-plus shooters who register for this event have never held a shotgun before. Newcomers can arrive early at Addieville for safety lessons and training time.
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 took place 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. However, Light has added a whole series of smaller, out-of-the-box fundraisers that lead up to it. The Light Foundation will look to host its 2nd Annual Fools Night Out comedy show in the spring and the 3rd Annual Cornhole Commotion tournament during the summer of 2015.
Light’s plans to expand the reach of his Foundation are already in the works. A camp for at-risk teen girls is scheduled to launch next summer at the Chenoweth Trails facility in Ohio. He says as the need for more programs grows, so will the need for additional funding, and he knows this upcoming event will play a large part in future endowments. “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.”
Logo courtesy Light Foundation