Rangemaster couple: Beth and Josh Bishop are now living in the house and taking care of the office and grounds. They came to us from Texarkana, Texas, and Payette, Idaho. Welcome aboard.
Dues increase: Annual membership with the shooting park is now $120 per year. That amount buys a family membership including husband/wife, children under the age of 18 living at home, and grandchildren also under the age of 18.
Contributions: David and Debbie Rippee, Steve Simon, Don Joy, and John Clark contributed furniture, tools, cooking utensils, a microwave and other necessities. David and Debbie also provided Josh with two-days employment before he became rangemaster. Since its inception in 2006, the IKA members have been extremely generous. It was they who insured the survival of the range four years ago, and their contributions continue to make projects possible that otherwise would never come about. Yakima has more than its share of generous poeple.
Broken pipes: During the cold snap, some pipes upstairs froze and broke. The damage was minimal, but some plumbing will need to be replaced with PEX(?) when the weather warms a bit. Ice doesn't break PEX.
Yakima Police: Sgt. Chad Stephens of the Yakima Police Department tells me YPD wishes to continue using the range. For the park, that means a healthy addition to our funding. It also means marked police cars will be on the range regularly, and that's good. On two occasions, unsavory looking people quickly disappeared when the squad cars drove onto the property. Thank you, Yakima Police and Sgt. Stephens.
Election of directors: At the December meeting, the membership elected or reelected the following directors: Gary Fairbanks (3); Tim Orth (3); Matt Petersen (3); Rodger Lamb (2); Russ Harmon (1). Their terms in years are in parenthesis after their names. Pat Koenig (treasurer) and Mike Iasella (director) chose to resign or not run for reelection. Pat has done a wonderful job, providing the directors with detailed accounting at each meeting. That has allowed us to live within our budget and to grow as well. Mike Iasella, installed the coin-op on the skeet range and made repairs on other machines. It will be difficult to replace him.
Election of officers: At the December meeting after election of directors, the directors elected the following officers: Jim Pearson, president; Gary Fairbanks, vice-president; Steve Koenig, 2nd vice-president; Matt Petersen, treasurer; Shawn Murphy, secretary. Judy Pearson will continue as assistant secretary.
Nominating committee: I have appointed Tim Orth, chairman; Gary Fairbanks, and Matt Petersen as the nominating committee for the December 2011 election of directors for the year 2012. If you would like to be a director or if you know of someone you think would be a good director, mention it to the nominating committee.
Long-distance range development: I have been offered financial assistance in developing a long distance rifle range. I think we have a spot that will accommodate a 700 yard range on the southwest corner of the property. I envision a military-type range with targets on carriers similar to the 100 yard range so shooting can continue while people in the pits mark shots for the shooters. I would like to have four targets so shooters could fire from benchrests or from the prone position. Steve Koenig is interested in the project and others are welcome to join us, but that is on hold until the snow is gone and the ground is dry. I also want to move the berms on the 300 meter range approximately 15 degrees to the west to provide for a safer backstop.
Thank you: I was pleased the board of directors asked me to again serve as president. During the past two years, our membership has quadrupled giving us the financial base to provide a good wage/benefit package to our employees. For the increase in membership, we need to thank Scott Sandsberry for two Yakima Herald articles about the range, to rangemasters who improved the appearance of the range, to Pat Koenig for dutifully sending out dues reminders each month, and to a board of directors who set a goal of making the range financially self-sustaining. When I assumed the presidency two years ago, I set a membership goal of 400 never dreaming it would come so quickly. In addition to the range projects I have already mentioned, I want three more bays pushed out, one of them being an active-target .22 rifle/pistol range. I also want regular maintenance being performed on the clay target machines, and active skeet/trap/5-stand clays leagues. These goals are all realistic because Sun Valley Shooting Park with its central location and 255 acres of land is well suited to draw membership or attendance from throughout the state. My two-year ride has had its share of bumps, but the rewards have made the trip worthwhile. Thank you.
Jim Pearson, president, Sun Valley Shooting Park