IRVING — On a clear and breezy Friday morning, men and women from every corner of North Texas came together for a friendly dose of Texas competition. Sporting Clays, in its fourth year, offers friends and members of the 6 Stones coalition the chance to support our organization and claim a unique set of bragging rights as the best shooter we know. With support from Sedalco, Mexican Inn, Spring Creek BBQ, Paladin, Texas Capital Bank, Bloomfield Homes and TXU, we were blessed and honored to host a competitive fundraiser with dual purpose at Elm Fork Gun Range on Friday, September 11.
In many ways, the tragedy that shook our nation in 2001 has come to represent our greatest attributes. It showed us that, while there was evil in the world, it did not rule over us. It reminded us that we are stronger when we stand together; that the brokenness of this world need not define it. When confronted with terror and loss, we responded by rallying to support one another rather than collapsing in fear. It was only fitting, then, that we commemorate those events by gathering together for a greater purpose.
Sporting Clays is more than a shooting competition. It brings city officials and citizens into close contact with one another for the benefit of both. Just as important, funds raised at the event support our efforts to rebuild homes and lives in our native cities, to lift our neighbors into the life they were meant to live. The men and women who participate represent the wide reach of our coalition.
The Euless Fire Department provided a stunning color-guard display, complete with bagpipe accompaniment. Volunteers from the community and from TXU forfeit their afternoon and their chance to take part in the festivities, instead manning the pull stations so that others could compete. Out in the field, pastors stood beside community leaders and business owners, setting their sights on something bigger than a clay pigeon. We're aiming to do something truly remarkable here, and Friday's festivities suggest that we've scored a hit.
As much fun as we all had out at the range, the real wonder of the event was that hundreds of men and women from so many different places would come together, bow their heads in silence and prayer in the morning, pledge support to their community in the afternoon and walk away refreshed by the end of lunch. Regardless of what they do for a living or what they believe in, these men and women were united in memory of American sacrifice, inspired in the face of Texan challenges and emboldened by their mutual charge. They did their part to support us as we fight against hunger, poverty and disrepair in our community. And they had fun doing it.
While bragging rights for the tournament returned to the City of Bedford, thanks in part to the excellent shooting of a Harwood Junior High student, we feel like we've won something bigger. There's a handsome trophy bearing inscriptions from both the City and the HEBISD school district — the unseated champions after a two year run — in our office, waiting to be dressed with more accolades in the years to come.
But we'd trade it and every award thereafter for a community as caring and engaged as ours.