REDMOND, Ore. - Dr. Nicole MacTavish, Principal of Redmond High School, announced Friday that the Redmond High School JROTC Program was awarded a $10,000 endowment by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Redmond High School JROTC plans to use the money to help support the rifle team program.
"This means that next year we will be able to get new equipment which will be helpful," said Alex Lane, Private First Class. "Our third year shooters will be shooting in ‘Precision' next year, the highest class of shooting. This is a big step for us. This money will help buy the equipment we need for them."
The program was recognized with this award due to the successes of the JROTC Rifle Team.
"Without the support of organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, it's extremely difficult to keep the smaller club sports viable," said Lt. Co.l Robert F Wendel USMC (RET), the JROTC Rifle Team coach.
Wendel sees that programs like rifle team connect many students to school, making them more successful. "Students who are engaged in extracurricular activities have a higher propensity to graduate. That's our number one goal at Redmond High School," said Wendel.
This theme is echoed by Michael Ryneer, Armory Chief for the JROTC program, "Marksmanship in general has given me a lot of confidence. I've stuck with it because it has really helped me with my grades."
Lane agrees, "Marksmanship helps me be motivated in school and helps me make sure I have good grades for graduation."
The endowment comes from the Scholastic Shooting Trust Fund, which was created to raise money for high school, college, university and club shooting teams. Wendel explained that the endowment gave the group $10,000 up front. On top of that, the group also agreed to match any additional donations the program obtains. "We hope to reach out to other organizations and individuals to add to our endowment since the trust fund will match donations," said Wendel.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, founded in 1984 and headquartered in Missoula, Montana, is a national nonprofit organization focused on ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and hunting heritage.
David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation President and CEO believes, "Conservation depends on strong participation in hunting and shooting sports, which together generate most of the revenue for wildlife habitat, management, law enforcement and research in America. We're proud to support this heritage through endowments to encourage and support students."