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02/10/2012

Potterfields receive Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award

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Photos and interviews for media available upon request through Josh Fleming.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Americans best know Larry Potterfield from his commercials. He offers tips on gun cleaning and reloading ammunition on behalf of his company, MidwayUSA. He signs off each one by saying, “Thanks for your business.”

When volunteer members of the NWTF hear the Potterfield name, they think of unfailing commitment to the shooting sports and our country’s hunting heritage. The generosity of Larry and Brenda Potterfield has enabled the NWTF to carry out its mission, and the organization returned its thanks by giving them the 2012 Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award.

The Potterfields received the award during the 36th annual National Convention and Sport Show in Nashville.

“Lynn Boykin devoted her life to educating others on the importance of our hunting heritage,” said Larry Potterfield, founder and CEO of MidwayUSA. “She was a great leader not only for the NWTF, but for our entire industry. Brenda and I are honored to accept this award from the NWTF as a testament to Lynn’s accomplishments. We very much appreciate the support of our customers that allows us to support shooting programs around the country.”

The Potterfields started MidwayUSA, an online store for just about everything outdoors, and have run the business together since 1977.

“During all those years, Brenda has never been behind me; she has almost always been at my side, helping me make important decisions,” said Larry, as he addressed attendees of last year’s NWTF convention. “And in those cases when she was not at my side, she was out in front making those decisions for me. Most of the credit for my success goes to Brenda.”

Young Americans are benefitting from the Potterfields’ decision in 2010 to commit more than $1 million to the NWTF, a gift that has enabled the group to further its mission of teaching youth to be safe, responsible shooters.

“This commitment from the Potterfields has allowed the NWTF to create the JAKES Take Aim program,” said NWTF CEO George Thornton, “which will present opportunities for youth 17 and younger to try target shooting, sporting clays and shotgunning in a safe, fun environment.”

The goal of the JAKES Take Aim program is to triple the number of youth shooting participants at JAKES events from 50,000 to 150,000 youth by 2014.

According to Mandy Harling, national JAKES program coordinator, the NWTF will provide fully-equipped shooting trailers to 48 states, which will be distributed over four years. They’ll arrive with everything necessary to set up a safe shooting range. Trailers are available for use through state agencies and NWTF state chapters and can be used in partnership with other conservation and civic groups.

“Thanks to the Potterfields’ generosity, more young people will have the chance to try shooting sports, and may discover a passion they will enjoy for the rest of their lives,” said Thornton. “It’s friends like them who will help the NWTF solidify the future of shooting sports in America.”

For the third year, MidwayUSA is the official sponsor the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show, but the Potterfields feel it’s more of a partnership to educate America’s youth about wildlife conservation and our country’s hunting heritage.

They gave the NWTF $400,000 to bring Nashville-area high schoolers to its 2012 national convention and create for them a fun, educational experience.

The Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award’s namesake was a former president and chairperson of the NWTF’s national board. During her tenure, she emphasized the importance of our hunting heritage. Her leadership forged a new outlook for the organization, paving the way for its outreach efforts. Today, the NWTF’s mission to celebrate and preserve North America’s hunting heritage is some of its most important work.

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