Turkey Shoot raises funds for Kentucky veteran museum

Published 8:42 am Sunday, October 24, 2021

No fowl play was involved in the Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum’s Turkey Shoot on Saturday, although sharpshooters with the best aim could win frozen turkeys and turkey trophies.

The Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum hosted its ninth annual Turkey Shoot fundraiser Saturday on land behind the museum. Participants donated money to the museum and in return, they would try their luck at shooting 4.5-inch by 5.5-inch paper targets with a shotgun.

For each round, the top three participants whose shots landed closest to the center of their target would earn a prize. Some of the prizes included small and large frozen turkeys and gift cards to department stores and local restaurants. The top overall shooter of the day won a golden turkey trophy.

Even participants who completely missed the target were rewarded with gift cards to Range America in Paducah so they could work on their aim for next year’s Turkey Shoot.

Most shotgun shells are designed to throw a group of pellets, or shot, at a target once the shot is fired. Kern Bruner, who assisted in setting up the event, said as long as shooters were aimed correctly at the target, one of the pellets in the shell had a chance at hitting the center.

“That’s what makes the Turkey Shoot fun. It’s half hitting the target, and half luck,” Bruner said.

Money raised from the event supported the Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum, which curator Sandy Hart said is funded fully by donations. Hart said the Turkey Shoot is one of three events the museum hosts every year to help raise funds for the museum and help share the stories of the veterans featured inside of the facility.

Hart is currently planning events to honor the Veteran and Patriot Museum’s upcoming 10th anniversary in March. She wants to schedule events for every month in 2022 to both honor the museum’s anniversary and honor a trip she helped plan nearly 20 years ago where she took more than 400 WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the new WWII Monument in 2004. The planning and fundraising for that trip began in 2002, and Hart also wants to honor those who helped to raise more than $200,000 to send those veterans to the nation’s capital.

One of the projects she is currently working on is gathering newspaper clippings and articles about local veterans. She is making copies of the stories that she finds and plans on distributing those materials to local schools and libraries to help educate students about the men and women who fought for the U.S.

Hart plans to schedule events in Wickliffe, where the museum is located, and some events in Paducah, where more people could come out and honor the museum’s support of Kentucky veterans. She is also looking to include the opinions of local veteran groups in figuring out what kind of events to put on and how best to honor the veterans who hail from Kentucky.