HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Chatuge Gun Club, sponsored by Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton, hosted the 10th annual fundraiser for the children of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes (GSYH). “A good time was had by all” was the statement of Chatuge Gun Club President Ed Jones, strongly seconded by Sheriff Clinton, along with those that participated in the event.
Each year for the past decade, Sheriff Chris Clinton and the Chatuge Gun Club has partnered to raise money for Georgia’s most at-risk youth. The children, through no fault of their own, find themselves in need of someone to care for them, teaching them the skills they will need to become successful adults.
Over ten years ago, Sheriff Clinton went to Chatuge Cun Club President Ed Jones with an idea. There had, according to the Sheriffs’ Association, never been a fund raiser for these children in our area. Thankfully, that has changed. Out of that meeting came an annual partnership that has consistently helped Towns County be one of the “Top Ten” contributors to the GSYH per capita. When one considers there are 159 Georgia counties and five with GSYH campuses, that in itself is impressive. Towns County has reached the number two spot for top contributors and has never been lower than the top ten since Sheriff Clinton and Chatuge Gun Club members teamed up to help provide for these children in need.
This year, rather than a trap shoot, gun club members suggested a steel plate match. The interest was high and the event was a huge success with ten teams of five. It was a fast-paced day with two relays of five firing at two different stations. Meanwhile, down on the lower range sat a dueling tree where many a competitor challenged friends to a race against each other on the dueling tree. The dueling tree has six swinging arms and starts with three on each side. Competitors try and get all six targets to their opponent’s side, with a total of twenty rounds and at least one magazine change.
This year’s event drew good participation from law enforcement, with deputies from Towns, Union, Rabun, and Fannin County Sheriff’s SWAT participating. There were plenty of good-hearted rivalries and more than one called out for a match on the dueling tree. At times, the dueling tree gave shooters the opportunity to redeem themselves after a bad run. Other times, it added insult to injury. No one forgot that it was about having a good time for a great cause. At the end of the day there were no injuries but maybe a few bruised egos, with a promise to return next year more prepared.
Many of the deputies from surrounding agencies asked Sheriff Clinton when the next match would be. “That was a first this year. I think the excitement is high for shooting steel and being able to go head to head on the dueling tree,” Sheriff Clinton said, ” It gave these deputies time to reacquaint with old friends, meet new ones, and have a great time of fellowship and good-hearted competition and all the proceeds go to help children. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.”
Sheriff Clinton thanks Ed and Verlee Jones, Thad Bynum, Duane Mowrey, and all the volunteers (too many to name) from the Chatuge Gun Club for their hard work and willingness to give of their time and effort to help these children. Sheriff Clinton would like to thank their sponsors for making this all possible. They were: Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, MD, PA, Bynum Insurance Agency, Crane Creek Vineyard, Jacky Jones Ford, Correctional Resource Group, Southern Health Partners, Twiggs Construction, Coosa Creek Marketing Products, and Combined Public Communications.
Sheriff Clinton would also like to congratulate Union County Deputy Brandon Hogsed for having the top score as an individual shooter. Hogsed, along with second-place shooter Deputy Seth Dyer, led Union County’s team to a first place victory. The top five competitive shooters were:
- 1st Deputy Sheriff Brandon Hogsed – Union County
- 2nd Deputy Sheriff Seth Dyer – Union County
- 3rd Deputy Sheriff Bill Conway – Towns County
- 4th Sheriff Chris Clinton – Towns County
- 5th Tom Halasz – Chatuge Gun Club
Top five teams were:
- 1st “Ragamuffins”
- 2nd Union County Sheriff’s Office
- 3rd Towns County Sheriff’s Office (Team Five)
- 4th Towns County Sheriff’s Office (Team One)
- 5th Bynam Insurance
All individual shooter and team scores are available at chatugegunclub.com
Towns County Sheriff’s Citizen Law Enforcement Academy (CLEA) volunteers are planning a third annual fund raiser for the GSYH on Oct. 27 at Sundance Grill in Hiawassee with food, drinks, and live music by The Chris Clinton Band, George and Andy, and Bill Rinaldo from 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now.
For more information, contact Towns County Sheriff’s Office at 706-896-4444.