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USA Shooting Partners with MidwayUSA Foundation to Begin Lones Wigger Endowment for Junior Olympics & Youth Shooting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (February 7, 2016)

The goal in establishing the Lones Wigger endowment is to build upon the success of USA Shooting's Junior Olympic program. Pictured here is Colonel Wigger alongside the Women's Three-Position Rifle medalists from the 2015 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships featuring Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (right), TCU bound Elizabeth Marsh (middle) and Kentucky sophomore Hanna Carr.Two of the biggest names in the youth shooting sports are combining efforts to help support the next generation of Olympic-style shooting excellence. USA Shooting is announcing the official launch of the Lones Wigger/USAS Jr Olympic Endowment in cooperation with the MidwayUSA Foundation. This youth program endowment will help create an enduring legacy for one of the greatest competitive shooters in history.  The endowment serves as the official launch of the Lones Wigger Legacy Project that USA Shooting will be announcing in full detail on February 16.

Colonel Wigger helped construct USA Shooting’s popular Junior Olympic program, an extremely popular youth shooting opportunity that annually gives youth ages 11-20 the opportunity to compete on a national stage on-site at the USA Shooting Center located at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.  His latest testament to his belief in youth shooting is the creation of a legacy endowmentwhich will provide additional funding opportunities for USA Shooting to help grow youth programs and enhance grassroots development.  

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“The Lones Wigger Endowment is the continuation of a lifelong pursuit of greatness and an important investment in recognizing a man who has given selflessly to his sport throughout his career,” said USA Shooting Interim CEO Dave Johnson. “The real winners here are the youth this endowment will help serve and the betterment of youth shooting sports programs across this country.  It’s a perfect opportunity to combine the commitment to youth shooting shared by Lones Wigger and the MidwayUSA Foundation.” 

A five-time Olympian, Colonel Wigger is an iconic figure in the shooting sports and is the only USA Shooting Team member ever elected to the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Hall of Fame.  He has won more medals in international shooting competition (111) than any other shooting athlete in the world and is the only athlete to win medals in all three Olympic rifle shooting disciplines.  He was selected as one of the United States Olympic Committee’s 100 Golden Olympians in 1996 and carried the Olympic Torch in 1996 and 2002.  A member of four Halls of Fame, including the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame, his international shooting career spanned 25 years (1961-1986). 

The MidwayUSA Foundation was established in 2007 to provide sustainable funding to youth shooting sports teams across the nation.  Founders, Larry and Brenda Potterfield, owners of MidwayUSA, had a vision to offer the same opportunities to youth interested in shooting sports that those interested in more traditional team sports received.  Today, the Foundation funds over 3,000 youth shooting teams and the endowment is growing every day, having exceeded $100 million in endowed assets in October.   

“The mission of the MidwayUSA Foundation and of USA Shooting match up perfectly when it comes to increasing youth participation and programs within the youth shooting sports industry,” said MidwayUSA Foundation Executive Director, Randy Moeller. “By establishing a USA Shooting Youth Program Endowment with the MidwayUSA Foundation, USA Shooting is magnifying their commitment to further grow and develop their youth shooting programs and initiatives.  And because of our [MidwayUSA Foundation] matching program, which is funded by the generous contributions from Larry & Brenda Potterfield, this endowment will continue to prosper, benefiting youth across the country for years to come.” 

USA Shooting may request an annual grant of 5% from the account. Additionally, the Endowment adds to the catalog of items USA Shooting offers for donor participation. In 2016, the MidwayUSA Foundation funded over 1,000 shooting teams with their cash grants, totaling nearly $3 million. 

The Lones Wigger/USAS Jr Olympic Endowment is the second youth endowment started by USA Shooting and the first since 2005. The Athlete Endowment Fund was established in 2005 with the intention of awarding grants to shooting sport athletes to help offset the cost of competitions, equipment, ammunition, travel and training in hopes of maintaining USA Shooting’s competitive excellence well into the future. That athlete-specific Endowment started awarding grants in 2015 and has awarded 45 grants totaling $63,500. 

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