ADAMS TWP — The Mars Rod and Gun Club has the distinction of being the first organization to hold a benefit for the Glade Run Lake Conservancy, and members hope others will follow.
The conservancy is raising money to pay for repairs at the former Glade Run Lake in Middlesex Township, which was drained in the summer of 2011 because of a faulty dam. The group’s goal is to have the 52-acre lake refilled, which will cost about $4 million.
Enter Mars Rod and Gun Club vice president Fred Dean. He said a member suggested that the club hold a fundraiser for the conservancy to raise awareness of its efforts as well as cash.
Dean contacted conservancy board members, and the result was Shoot for the Lake, a benefit shoot on Oct. 14 at the club on Cashdollar Road. It raised $3,500.
The conservancy board was elated at the idea.
“It was an incredible offer for them to do it,” said Bonnie Chappell, the conservancy’s vice president.
She said about 80 people attended the event.
“For a first-time event, I thought it was very well-attended,” Chappell said.
Dean said no admission fee was charged, and the club offered various fun, skill-related shooting contests as well as a silent auction and prize drawings.
He said businesses volunteered when they heard the fundraiser would benefit the return of the drained lake, which was once attracted fishermen, boaters, families, ice-skaters and wildlife.
Regarding the contests, muzzleloaders, rifles, pistols, and even archery equipment were used in various games.
Dean said one competition saw shooters aiming at an egg hanging from a string at varying distances depending on the gun and whether it included a site or scope.
A number of meat shoots were also held in which individual shooters attempted to take out as many of the 10 clay birds launched into the air as possible. Winners received a turkey breast or other cut of meat.
The lucky target shoot saw contestants aim a shotgun at a paper plate 25 yards away. A target was randomly on each plate, and the shooter with a BB closest to the target was the winner.
“It was a lot of fun,” Dean said. “We had people saying (to skilled marksmen) ‘Here’s a dollar. Will you shoot for me?’”
The rod and gun club also sold food and soft drinks.
Dean said many members of the club are outdoorsmen, and were disappointed to see the lake drained.
“More than half are into fishing,” Dean said. “It was nice to have a local place where you can spend a couple hours at the end of the day or take the kids out some evening. It was nice to have that right around the corner.”
He said he hopes the event increased awareness about the lake.
“It’s amazing how many people don’t even know that the lake has been drained,” Dean said.
He praised the efforts of the conservancy board and members, and said his club hopes to hold another event in the spring that includes other sportsmens’ clubs.
Dean hopes Shoot for the Lake and future fund-raisers at the club will help Glade Run Lake reopen.
“You don’t miss something until it’s gone.”
More information on Glade Run Lake and the effort to have it reopened is available at www.gladerunlakeconservancy.org.