This story courtesy of LakeExpo.com and Nathan Bechtold. The original article can be found here.
The Shootout has donated $1 million to local charitable/community organizations and fire districts, just in the last decade. Here’s a peek at how they’ve used the money.
What do dozens of finely-tuned powerboats and dozens of Lake of the Ozarks charities have in common? Well, the answer wouldn’t be immediately obvious, were it not for the Shootout. Just like the boats on the race course, the event has become a well-oiled machine, raising $1 million for Lake area charities in the last decade, with $200,000 raised in 2017 alone.
Where does the money come from? All over. Some people—racers and fans—simply write checks and hand them over, ready to benefit the many charities doing lots of good across the diverse Lake region. Ad revenue from the Official Shootout Guide gives a big boost to the annual dollar amount raised. And Shootout events like the Golf Tournament, Poker Run, and Treasure Hunt bring money both via tickets sold and title sponsorships.
How is it distributed? Proportionately to how Shootout-connected charities help volunteer their time. More than two-dozen charities will be connected with Shootout events this year, helping everything go smoothly: from taking tickets to parking cars to setting up and cleaning up. Other folks, not explicitly connected with any specific charity, volunteer their time on behalf of the charity of their choice. Volunteers all sign a time sheet, where they “clock in,” sign their name, and indicate the charity they want their hours to go toward. When all the boats go home and the donations are counted, the money is donated proportionately to how many hours were worked on behalf of each Shootout charity. "There were 647 volunteers, who clocked 8,800 hours in 2017," former race director Ron Duggan explained.
In all, 37 local charities, community organizations, and fire districts benefitted from the 2017 Shootout. Here’s a look at what a few of the many local charities have been able to do, thanks to the race…
Ozarks Habitat for Humanity
In its 20 years of existence, Ozarks Habitat for Humanity has built 18 homes in the Camdenton area, providing affordable housing for 23 adults and 50 children. The organization tithes annually to Habitat International, which has helped build another 47 homes internationally. Proceeds from the Shootout contribute to the great work of Habitat for Humanity.
Laurie/Sunrise Beach Rotary
The Shootout typically contributes thousands of dollars per year to the Laurie/Sunrise Beach Rotary. The local club in turn supports three Lake-area food pantries, Morgan County Coalition for Kids, Citizens Against Domestic Violence (CADV-VOC), Medical Missions for Christ, Wonderland Camp, Westlake Aquatic Center, and literacy programs.
Another Shootout-benefitted organization, Community Leaders Educating About Resistance (CLEAR) helps educate people about high risk behaviors while promoting a safe and healthy community.
One of the largest recipients of Shootout donations in recent years, Laurie Elks are deeply involved in helping the community on the Westside of the Lake of the Ozarks. Among the Laurie Elks’ many recent activities they have either helped fund or organize: Youth Day for underprivileged children, Kids Fishing Derby, Local Boy Scout Troop and Council, Clothing Vouchers for Needy Families, Providing propane and sleeping bags for a single mom in the area with 6 children, Christmas Basket Program over Christmas Break, 2 weeks worth of groceries to 102 families, Tree of Joy: 2 Christmas toys for 360 children, Angelman Syndrome donation, Helped with new siding on the Sunrise Beach Little Theater, Repaired vehicle light bars on Sunrise Beach Police cars, Helped fund Missouri Burn Camp: a camp for severely burned children so they can make friends with other burned children and build self esteem and make friends. Laurie Elks also celebrate a Student of the month program recognizing 4 boys and girls at each school, as well as student of the year which awards 5 scholarships to students across 4 schools. Laurie Elks sponsored a Youth Ambassador for ACT Missouri Drug Awareness; and has made donations to Share the Harvest, Food for Morgan County, and Community for Christ.
Local Fire Departments
In a big tribute to the important role local fire districts have played in the Lake’s longest-running boat race, the Shootout annually donates tens of thousands of dollars to eight local fire districts, some of which operate with tiny budgets in big areas. Those departments volunteer time at the event every year, in all sorts of capacities. Thanks to the Shootout, Coffman Bend Fire Department—historically one of the largest recipients of Shootout dollars—was able to purchase a new firetruck and an Auto Pulse Resuscitation System. The largest district in the region, Mid County Fire Protection District uses all the money received for training and equipment. for the Dive and Water Rescue Team.
Citizens Against Domestic Violence
CADV is a crucial shelter at the Lake for people suffering under domestic abuse. CADV uses money from Shootout donations to help women and children who are moving out of the shelter set up their new home in a variety of ways. Often this means assistance with deposits for utilities or rent for the first month.
Dogwood Animal Shelter & Forget-Me-Not Horse Rescue
Furry friends benefit from the Shootout too! In 2017, Dogwood Animal Shelter was able to purchase 100 bags of dog food and 45 bags of cat food, thanks to Shootout donations.
Missouri Forget-Me-Not Horse Rescue and Sanctuary uses Shootout funds to provide food, vet and farrier services to horses that have been abandoned, neglected or surrendered by their owners because they can no longer afford to feed and care for them. The organization cares for over 140 horses at the sanctuary in Linn Creek and across its network of foster homes in the surrounding area. Many horses are permanent residents of the Sanctuary, because of age, medical issues, or blindness. In 2017, Missouri Forget-Me-Not spent over $67,000 on feed and supplements, over $30,000 on veterinary care and pharmaceuticals, over $14,000 on horse training, and over $11,000 on farrier services. They also spent $15,000 to replace the barbwire fencing with horse friendly fencing on the pasture land they acquired a couple of years ago, in order to avoid injury to the horses. They are a 501(c)3 animal welfare organization, and depend entirely on donations and fundraisers for financial support. They are staffed entirely by volunteers, and have no paid employees. One volunteer explained simply, “The money we receive from the Shootout enables us to save these horses’ lives.”