Competitors take aim at Education Foundation Charity Shoot

VERO BEACH — Windsor’s private Platt Station Gun Club closed out its season once more by hosting the annual Education Foundation of Indian River County Charity Shoot. 

“We never usually have to worry about this event; people keep coming back because they love it,” said Education Foundation Executive Director Cynthia Falardeau.

Spectators and fellow competitors watched as teams of shooters took aim at brightly colored orange disks (clay pigeons) that had been flung into the air by mechanized traps, all in an effort to target support of education programs in Indian River County.

“Windsor is such a gracious host,” said Falardeau.  “They donate the breakfast, lunch and facility, and their gun pro, Nicky Szapary and his wife organize everything. Our sponsorships exceeded $7,500 which is a lot in this economy for a small event.

Szapary, a former Austrian Olympian, insured the overall safety of the shooters and spectators and gave participants instruction when needed, while his wife Stephanie kept track of the scores.

The only woman to shoot this year was Windsor resident Dede Snowden, a regular at the Gun Club during its season.

“We’re the ‘A’ team,” said Snowden with a smile.  “We didn’t prove it this time, but we had fun.  It’s always a good group of people, playing at various levels.  You never know who you’re going to be shooting with; that’s the fun.”

Three-person teams are randomly drawn and, while the majority of the 30 shooters had previous shooting experience, there were also a few newbies.  Team scores are based on a combination of results in the Driven Game Simulation and Quadruple Three Stand competitions.

“I enjoyed it,” said novice shooter Todd Krajewski.  “A little practice ahead of time would have helped, but I was getting the hang of it towards the end.”

“This is the first time we’ve shot together as a team,” said Todd Marchant, after finishing the Driven Game Simulation with teammates Andrew Russell and George Fetterolf.  “The flurry is a lot of fun; we were really in sync.”

That demanding flight gives shooters a total of 120 shells, generally distributed as 40 each, and four minutes to hit 100 targets that are randomly launched their way from an elevated scissor tower.

“It takes a lot of teamwork to be able to coordinate,” agreed Fetterolf, noting that their team had a score of 91 out of a possible 100. “To do it as well as we did was very unusual.  It really gets your blood going.”

“It gets your arm sore too,” laughed Marchant.  “I’m going to need someone to carry my gun.”

In the end, that close teamwork resulted in their being awarded First Place shooting honors.  Second Place was awarded to Ed Mellett, Ben Bailey and David Bass, and the Third Place team was Deke Welles, Guy Snowden and Dr. Cary Stowe.

Proceeds from the Charity Shoot benefit the Education Foundation of Indian River County’s Programs, which include The Sneaker Exchange, the School Fund, the Indian River Regional Science & Engineering Fair, the Great Ideas! Grants and Teacher Development initiatives. {igallery 382}

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