A non-profit North Carolina youth soccer and cheerleading league offered a rifle as a raffle prize a year after an AR-15 was up for grabs.
The East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League in East Flat Rock, NC, which coaches 5- to 12-year-old boys and girls, is currently selling $5 worth of tickets — or 5 for $20 — for a chance to win an FN-15 to win patrol carbines.
The organization updated its Facebook page to promote the fundraiser, calling the gun a “liberty stick” and saying it was raising money to help the children.
The East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League vowed to continue giving away an assault rifle to raise money for their program
The East Henderson Youth Cheerleading Squad trains at East Flat Rock Park, North Carolina
The draw will be streamed live on October 1, 2022 during halftime of the Dwarf Game.
News of the giveaway caused an uproar among some local parents, who said it was in poor taste after the mass shooting at a middle school in Uvalde, Texas, by a man that killed 21 people, including 19 children. The shooter used an AR-15 rifle.
“I was genuinely shocked when I received the news that the children were selling an assault rifle because of what is happening in schools across the country,” an anonymous, concerned parent told local news station WLOS.
Another parent, who also declined to be named, agreed.
“I thought it was very distasteful that they chose a weapon that would be used against children,” the parent told the broadcaster.
But on Friday, the youth league redoubled its efforts, saying they were open to alternative ideas but their goal was to help less fortunate children enjoy a healthy activity.
The East Henderson Youth Cheerleading Troop, seen here on the sidelines, raises money with an AR-style rifle like the one used in the Uvalde Middle School shooting
The East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League gave away another assault rifle in 2021
“If you have a surefire way of raising enough money fast to get us through the rest of the season and still have enough to start next season, you need to use that energy positively,” the league wrote her facebook page.
In 2021 the East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League gave away this AR-15
East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League officials said the raffle prize of an AR-style rifle was necessary to raise money for children
This organization doesn’t live on air and water… The referees aren’t volunteers who [law enforcement officers] and first responders for the safety of the children are not volunteers, the use of the field, stadium and facilities is not free, the lost uniforms, mouthpieces, chin straps, ear pads, bows and socks are not free, the equipment is not free , the insurance is not free and any other fees the league has to pay are not imaginary.’
A league spokesperson told WLOS that they are “currently raising funds to purchase new equipment and have the opportunity to sponsor children in our community who cannot afford the registration fees.”
The organization emphasized on Facebook that they offer a “place where they can get away from any situation at home for at least 2 hours a day, a place where they can move away from video games, a place where they are loved , a place to be praised, a place to be yourself, a place to be normal, a place to belong to something bigger, a place to learn manners, respect, leadership and teamwork can learn.”
The group auctioned a similar gun last year with less publicity.
The winner must be over 18 and pass a background check to receive the award, it said.
The Chase High School wrestling team in Forest City, NC was forced to suspend its gun raffle after a backlash
The Chase High School wrestling team sold $20 tickets for an AR-15 to raise money
‘[The] Winner must meet all federal requirements to purchase and own a liberty cane,” the group posted on Facebook.
Opposition to the fundraiser has tapped into one of the key issues of America’s Culture War — gun control — and Second Amendment supporters have rallied around the effort, promising to bring more money to the league this year.
“Can I shop online and in Texas?” Facebook commenter Julea Ann wrote on the group’s page.
“Don’t let the AWAKE LEFT buzzards get you down,” wrote Robin Lea. ‘A lady asked how that’s legal, Ha. bc this is america…liberties my grandfather fought for. I’m sure those who shout the loudest agree with the 1A. I buy stay strong.’
It’s not uncommon for youth sports groups to raffle off powerful weapons to raise money.
In 2020, Ohio’s New Richmond Junior Lions Football and Cheer Program was selling tickets for a chance to win an AM-15, according to local broadcaster WXIX. They raised $4,000 for new equipment, league president Robert Wooten told the news channel.
“It’s an easy sale. It’s a hot object,’ he said.
However, the Chase High School wrestling team in Forest City, NC was not as successful when they tried to use the same firepower for their fundraiser.
In June, the organizer suspended the team’s raffle for an AR-15 due to an objection.
“I wasn’t trying to shake anyone’s pen,” Chris Ramsey told ABCNews 13. “My only intention was to help the kids, to help the kids that are part of my program. That’s all we’re trying to do here, have an impact on the world through these kids.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11181453/Youth-football-cheerleading-league-North-Carolina-offers-RIFLE-raffle-help-poor-children.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 North Carolina youth football cheerleading league offers RIFLE raffle to help poor children