When Ben Ehrman, senior medical photographer at Sinai Hospital, was introduced to clay shooting almost three years ago, he found a new passion. “I’d been involved in target shooting since I was a teenager, but had never been interested in hunting or wing shooting where the targets are moving. But as soon as I got introduced to the clay shooting games, I was hooked. There’s just nothing as challenging, or fun, as shooting at a fast moving target,” he says.
Clay shooting was devised around 1870 as a method for hunters to practice their shotgunning skills, but it quickly became popular with hunters and non-hunters alike. Clay shooting consists of a number of games (skeet, trap and sporting clays) in which the shooter faces a variety of presentations of clay targets. The 108mm clay targets travel at speeds up to 60 mph and simulate the flight characteristics of a variety of game birds.
“It didn’t take me long to discover the Loch Raven Skeet & Trap Center (LRSTC). I made friends with a number of the members who’ve coached me along and now LRSTC has become my home away from home on the weekends – and sometimes even during the week. I even started participating in competitions this year and have done pretty well,” says Ben. “I’ve enjoyed it so much that I decided to give something back. I now volunteer as an instructor at their Adult Introduction to Skeet course and serve as member on their managing board of directors.”
In October of 2011, the Loch Raven Skeet & Trap Center hosted their first annual Shoot for the Cure event to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure Maryland. The event served as a vehicle to introduce and promote clay shooting sports to new audiences through philanthropy and community outreach, while providing a safe and memorable fundraising experience. “No one (that we knew of) had ever done this type of fundraiser so we didn’t know what to expect,” says Ben, “but the event proved to be incredibly successful and we raised $10,000 for Komen Maryland.”
This year LRSTC has expanded the theme to Clays Against Breast Cancer and is part of a broader cancer fundraising effort, Clays Against Cancer, which will organize fundraisers for other types of cancers through their respective charitable organizations. “We also decided to expand the number of local organizations that will receive a portion of whatever funds we raise,” Ben adds. “We chose four local organizations and LifeBridge Health’s BraVo! Fund will be one of the recipients. I was pleased when the LRSTC Board of Directors chose the BraVo! Fund, not just because I work for LifeBridge Health, but because I know what great things they do in regard to providing cancer patients assistance with some of their non-medical needs.”
So mark your calendars for October 6 and 7 to participate in Loch Raven Skeet & Trap Center’s Clays Against Breast Cancer event. Ben adds, “I’d love to see as many LBH employees as possible at the event. We will have experienced shooters to assist (you don’t need to own a shotgun) and assure a fun and safe experience. I’d personally be happy to show any LBH employees how it’s done.” He adds, “If you can’t make it to the event you can still participate by making a donation or sponsoring me on a ‘per target hit’ basis. But I warn you – I’m a pretty good shooter!”
Visit our website for more information or to sign up: http://claysagainstcancer.org/
Loch Raven Skeet & Trap Center (LRSTC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that was formed in 1956 exclusively for recreational, educational, charitable and non-profit purposes. The center is open to the public and offers 7 skeet and trap fields and one 5-stand field. LRSTC also participates and hosts various sanctioned NSSA (Skeet) shoots and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ hunter safety class.
- Written by Ben Ehrman, Sr. Medical Photographer/ Multi-Media Specialist, Medical Photography & Media Design Services, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore
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