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American Legion donates big to the Park Rapids Clay Dusters

Several members of the Park Rapids Clay Dusters team were present at Smokey Hills Outdoor Store in Park Rapids to receive a $4,000 donation from the American Legion. (Nicole Vik/Enterprise)

The Park Rapids American Legion donated a total of $4,000 to the Park Rapids Clay Dusters trapshooting team; $2,000 of that donation was awarded to the team for having the highest ticket sales for the 19th Annual Park Rapids American Legion Fishing Derby.

"A few weeks before the derby actually took place, there was some concern as to whether or not ticket sales would be as a high as we would like," Clay Duster's coach Jared Hoefs said. "So, a plan was hatched for the Clay Dusters and Smokey Hills to team up to push those ticket sales through the roof and I think we did a pretty good job."

Jerry Benham, fishing derby coordinator, said with the help of the team, the American Legion came much closer to hitting their goal.

"We had 4,000 tickets printed and we came close to selling 3,500," Benham said. "I think there were a little over 300 tickets that they sold."

Hoefs showed his appreciation to the local grocery stores, Hugo's Family Marketplace and Coborn's, which allowed the team to sell the tickets at their locations.

According to Benham, proceeds from the annual derby go toward over 40 local charities including the Clay Dusters.

The trapshooting team has been growing in numbers since its inception with a total of 40 kids participating on the team this coming spring.

During their season, the team will go through 44,000 rounds of ammunition and 44,000 clay birds in total.

According to Hoefs, he told the kids they would need to come up with $15,000 to cover the cost for their spring season.

"This $4,000 puts a nice dent in that," he said.