Whitetails Unlimited awarded the Jackson County 4-H archery team a $1,000 grant at the group’s inaugural Jackson County Chapter banquet on Sept. 22.
Whitetails Unlimited is a national non-profit organization dedicated to educating hunters, preserving habitats and aiding shooting sports across the country.
“About 50 percent of every net dollar raised goes back into whatever we put it in. We’ve been doing stuff with the 4-H, and we have some grants, so that’s what we do with it,” said Stephen Price with Whitetails Unlimited.
The Jackson County Archery team began in 2002 and has grown to more than 70 archers. The team shoots compound and recurve bows and meets twice a week for practice, said Holly Ashworth, coach and team coordinator.
“Currently we have roughly 75 members. They range anywhere from first grade to seniors in high school,” said Holly.
The team competes in various competitions throughout the season, and they have nine volunteer coaches. The team will host a fund-raising competition at their new facility on April 22, 2017.
“One of the founding coaches, Rod Godfrey, was killed in an auto accident in 2008. His son Eric, a member of the archery team, was also killed in the accident,” said Holly. “One of Rod’s goals for the team was to eventually have our own archery facility.”
In 2015, the coaches began working to get their own facility, and in June 2016, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners gave the team permission to use a building and facility owned by the county that was dedicated as a 4-H archery facility.
“This season is our first season in our own archery facility that we have from the county,” said Holly. “We’re working on adding on to the facility we have, including more equipment and things as the team continues to grow. We will be using the grant to purchase additional targets for the team.”
The team has applied for a couple of grants, but Whitetails Unlimited was the first one they have received, added Holly.
Whitetails Unlimited has been busy with a number of Georgia events in recent months.
“We have had banquets in Ben Hill and Cherokee counties, in Athens and Jackson County. Next Thursday (Oct. 6), there is one in Houston County down in Perry,” said Stephen.
For any information or questions about Jackson County’s 4-H archery team, contact Holly at (706) 654-7236 or Melissa Fowler at (678) 234-6657.
If you have any questions about any upcoming Whitetails Unlimited event, call Stephen Price at (706) 644-6956, or visit the group’s website at www.whitetailsunlimited.com.