SDI Attends Nashville Sporting Clays Tournament

  • SDI Admin

It’s not every day that you have an opportunity to help a charity like the Ronald McDonald House. It’s also not every day that you get to spend a day shooting clays with great people, eating good food, enjoying perfect weather, and doing it all at a beautiful facility.

The day was overcast with slight sprinkles of rain in the morning, which cleared once the tournament started. There was also a slight chill in the air and a subtle breeze. In other words, it felt like perfect bird hunting weather—not too hot, not too cold, and perfect for a sweater. Competitors mostly consisted of Nashville locals, and Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) was happy to be one of the few out-of-state sponsors.

This was SDI’s first time as a sponsor for the Music City Sporting Clays Tournament, which is part of the Ronald McDonald House’s Kids & Clays fundraiser events. Nashville Gun Club hosted the tournament, and it did not fail to impress with its hospitality and the beautiful facility that they maintain next to the Cumberland River.
SDI has a vested interest in Ronald McDonald House. Their own Admissions Advisor, Christian Wilson, was a guest of Ronald McDonald House and is a cancer survivor. He now serves on the planning committee for the tournament and volunteers for the Ronald McDonald House in Tennessee. SDI saw this as a wonderful chance to support one of its own for a great cause.

Christian had this to say about the Nashville Ronald McDonald House, “The Ronald McDonald house was a tremendous blessing to my family and I during the time I was recovering from undergoing a bone marrow transplant. The house was able to not only provide my family and I a warm place to sleep and great food to eat, but it became our home during that time. The staff and families there going through similar situations became an extension of our family and it gave us great comfort having so many people we considered family there always ready to lend a helping ear or hand when we needed it. Since I have recovered and am in Remission living a healthy life I love going to speak about my families experience and help with events to bring awareness and raise money to aid the families who are there now, while those families are going through difficult times by bringing awareness and raising money for the house others are helping these families more than they will ever know!”

What does a day with the SDI team look like at a clay tournament? On this day it looked like eight people crammed into a golf cart, driving from station to station, and laughing the entire way through. If the etiquette of the Nashville Gun Club is to quietly go about your business on the course, SDI will have some apologies to make. The SDI team made the most of their time together. There is a definite comradery among the SDI staff, which is significant when taking into account that most of them had never met prior to the tournament. SDI’s culture of positive support was on display the entire day. Even if they didn’t shoot like clay experts, they stayed vigilant in supporting each other throughout the course. It was a unique situation for the SDI crew, since being knowledgeable in the assembly and maintenance of firearms does not a professional clay competitor make. But the team was just happy to be together and present at the tournament.

Shooting for the SDI team were Admissions Advisor Christian Wilson, Liaison Dustin Johnson, Marketing Content Specialist, Mac Christian, Professional Shooter KC Eusebio, and to everybody’s excitement, current student Thomas Hudson. Also attending were SDI’s PR Specialist, Garett Bishoff, VP of Product Positioning, Zeke Stout, and Industry Relations Specialist, Vanessa Boyer. Somehow, as previously mentioned, they all managed to fit into one golf cart.

Following the tournament, competitor teams gathered in the Nashville Gun Club lodge for pulled pork, corn bread, amazing baked beans, and the presentation of awards. There was an auction of goods ranging from hunting knives to hearing protection, and even a Mossberg shotgun was awarded as a raffle ticket prize.

While looking like an occasion to relax and have fun, the Music City Sporting Clays Tournament is serious business. The attendees were intent on raising money for the Ronald McDonald House—and they certainly met their objective. By taking in over $50,000, this tournament was a resounding success.

SDI is looking forward to future opportunities to sponsor organizations like the Ronald McDonald House.

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