It may have been a bad morning for clay pigeons, but it was a great day for those who love shooting clay pigeons and helping kids.
On Oct. 19, the NFL Alumni Northern California Chapter hosted its annual Klays for Kids Team Shoot at the Coyote Valley Sporting Clays Club in Morgan Hill. With the help of former 49ers linebacker, and Morgan Hill native Randy Kirk, the event raised more than $100,000 for children’s charities.
“Our mission is caring for kids,” said NFL Alumni Northern California Chapter President Eric Price, who went to camp with the 49ers as a defensive back and played with John Elway at Stanford in the early ’80s.
The annual Klays for Kids Team Shoot is the NFL Alumni Northern California Chapter’s second most significant fundraiser of the year next to its golf tournament at Stonebrae Country Club in Hayward. Every year the NFL Alumni Northern California chapter raises over $2.5 million to fund free football camps, toy drives, drug awareness programs and anti-bullying campaigns. Much of the organization’s efforts go to benefit families of active duty, disabled or fallen members of the armed forces.
Despite its history of working for and with veterans, organizers say the ongoing controversy surrounding ex-49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick depressed attendance at this year’s Klay for Kids Team Shoot.
“They tell us, ‘We love what you’re doing, but we can’t support the NFL while the players sit for the anthem,’” NFL Alumni Northern California Comptroller and Administrator Russ Issacson said. “We try to explain that we’re trying to raise money for kids. We fly the flag at our Redwoods headquarters, and most of the toys we raise at Christmas go to military families. It’s a shame.”
Four active duty Marine Corps veterans were at hand as one of the teams in the shoot. Maj. Bobby Bradford from Augusta GA, Staff Sgt. Jyher Lazarre Orlando FL, Corporal Marshall Keil from Plattsmouth NE, and Lance Corporal Alex Fogarty from San Francisco formed one of the squads in the competition.
With their military training, it may be natural to assume that they would be well prepared for the competition.
“We’re really good at static targets, but today we’re going to check out how we do with moving targets,” Bradford said.
On what was a picturesque morning at Coyote Valley Sporting Clays Club, deer, cattle and even a bison were present reminders of the beauty of Morgan Hill’s surroundings. Kirk, a 13-year NFL veteran is also a vet on the on the shooting range. But he prefers something a little more lively.
“I prefer fur and feathers, but I’ve been shooting sporting clays for 20 years now,” Kirk, who previously hosted the Kirk Celebrity Invitational clay shoot for nine years. said. “The outdoors is a passion, and I enjoy spending time out there with my kids.”
To make a donation to help area youth, visit nflalumninoca.org/donate.