The Heart of Texas Friends of NRA is holding its fifth annual fundraiser banquet at the Brownwood Coliseum on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 5 p.m.   

The banquet will feature food, games and live and silent auctions. Proceeds will go to benefit The NRA Foundation and specific efforts like scholarships and the organization’s annual Youth Education Summit.   

In the last year, The NRA Foundation was able to grant the Early Police Department $7,887 and the Sheriff’s Office $4,314 for the purchase of new shotguns. Heart of Texas Friends of NRA co-chair Beth Meadow, who organizes the annual banquet, said the vast majority of locally raised funds are able to stay in West Texas.   

“Friends of NRA is 25 years old,” Meadow explained. “It’s kind of the best-kept secret of the NRA, because what we do is fundraise and get the money for grants and scholarships. We help fund shooting sports for youth, law enforcement, scholarships — things like that.”   

According to Friends of NRA literature, 81 percent of NRA Foundation grants issued in 2013-14 went to youth programs, with 2,400 firearms granted.   

Meadow said the annual banquet is “a lot of fun.” Zephyr’s Diamond R Cafe will be catering.   

“We have games, raffles, live auction, silent auction — all sorts of fun things, and it’s not all gun-related,” Meadow said. Some of the firearms available as prizes include a Daniel Defense M4 Carbine, a Colt Competition 1911 Pistol and a Henry Silver Boy .44 mag with a 25th anniversary logo.   

There will also be jewelry, merchandise, knives, art and more available at auction.   

One raffle, called 10 Guns in 10 Minutes, is a pre-sale raffle that will be drawn at the banquet. Tickets are $20 each, and winners need not be present. And as a reload raffle, every entrant will have the opportunity to win every gun.   

Meadow said she’s involved with Friends of NRA because she enjoys supporting the next generation. The NRA Foundation is heavily involved in youth firearm education and political development.   

The Youth Education Summit, Meadow said, involves 12 selected Texas students who meet in Austin for a crash course on state government and have the opportunity to meet the governor. One of those students is also selected for the national summit, traveling to Washington, D.C.   

An NRA brochure says the national summit “is a seven-day, expense-paid leadership week” that “offers an in-depth perspective on American history and government with the opportunity to see the political process at work.”   

Tickets to the Heart of Texas Friends of NRA fifth annual fundraiser are available by contacting Meadow at 325-647-1318; by visiting www.friendsofnra.org; or from KOXE and the Diamond R Cafe.   

Meadow said there are still plenty of individual tickets and banquet tables available. The Ultimate Table package includes an African safari for four.   

Individual tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door.