As far as James Alison is concerned, participating in the Alabama Charity Clays shooting event is a blast. That’s why he has taken part in the annual Baptist Health Foundation fundraiser every year since it began in 2008.
“It’s good friends, good camaraderie and a lot fun,” says Alison, vice president and chief engineer at Birmingham-based Steward Machine Company. “The first time I went I was a little bit worried that there would only be a bunch of guys with fancy shotguns in fancy vests.
“But it’s really not. It’s very casual and informal. There’s not a lot of pressure. It’s fun and really nicely done.”
The 2012 Alabama Charity Clays event and the women’s Annie Oakley shoot will be Oct. 25-26 at Selwood Farm in the town of Alpine between Talladega and Sylacauga. There also will be a Sportsman’s Social with dinner and door prizes beginning at 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at Park Lane in Birmingham.
Also returning this year for the 2012 Sportsman’s Social will be Scott Leyseth, “The Sporting Chef,” a leading authority on the preparation of fish and game and author of several recipe books.
“The Last Man Standing” contest during the Sportsman’s Social will offer guests the opportunity to win a specially selected Beretta shotgun, Beretta clothing, jewelry, dinners, a quail hunt, $500 gift certificates or one of many other items.
Alison is a casual shooter and hunter who participates in two or three clay-shooting events each year. He says the Alabama Charity Clays is one of the best he has ever experienced, partly because of the hospitality shown by Baptist Health System officials and staff who help organize the event.
“Everything is taken care of. Your shells, your cart, your lunch,” Alison says. “They give you a very nice gun bag to keep that you can use to carry your shells and other essentials. It’s something I use all the time.”
Alison said he likes being able to meet people from Baptist Health.
“What really makes this event a little more special than most clay shoots is they have some of the employees from Baptist helping out at each shooting station,” he said, “so you meet a lot of people during the shoot who are on the Baptist staff. They’re very helpful and add to the fun.”
Over the past four years, Alabama Charity Clays has raised more than $425,000 – money that has been used each year for a specific purpose within Baptist Health System.
Proceeds from this year’s event will be added to funds received from the Women’s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham to help Baptist create a breast cancer survivor network and resource center. This service will act as a unique hub for information, services and long-term support for breast cancer survivors and their families from across the region.
“You really feel like you’ve helped people by participating in this event,” Alison said.
In 2008, proceeds purchased beds and monitors for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Shelby.
As a result of the 2009 event, an upgrade to Princeton Baptist’s Tesla MRI was purchased. This is especially helpful in the early detection of breast cancer.
A Faxitron was purchased in 2010 for the Breast Care Center at Princeton Baptist. This mobile digital radiography system provides on-the-spot images for surgeons removing tumors in breast cancer patients.
Funds from the 2011 Alabama Charity Clays went toward the purchase of stereotactic breast biopsy equipment for Princeton Baptist. This fully digital table biopsy system is designed for maximum patient comfort and lesion access.
Event sponsors include Beretta, Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C., Blue Cross & Blue Shield and more than two dozen team sponsors.
Gene Davenport is the chairman of the 2012 Alabama Charity Clays Committee, and Susan Stabler is chairman of the Annie Oakley event.
Committee members include Shane Armstrong, Amy Belcher, Mark Belcher, Gail Braswell, Joseph Braswell, Donna Cooper, Carol Drummond, Melissa Durbin, Jim Emack, Renee Fenn, Marco Gonzalez, Erik Henninger, Brian Holt, Terri Lamons, Leigh Leak, Landon McCaskill, Stacie Moore, Kristy Parrott, Parker Spees, Candace Thomas, Mary Catherine Tomlinson, Dr. Tommy Tomlinson, Chip Welch, Gary Wilkinson and Shad Wilks.
For the Annie Oakley women’s shoot on Oct. 25, registration and breakfast will be at 9 a.m., followed by safety instructions and safety assignments at 9:30 a.m. Course shooting will begin after that, ending at 11:30 a.m., when lunch will be served and door prizes awarded.
For the morning shoot Oct. 26, registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and breakfast will be served. Course shooting begins at 8:30 a.m. with lunch served at 11:30 a.m.
For the afternoon shoot, registration begins at 10 a.m., followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. and course shooting at 12:30 p.m.
To register, call Marcia Twitty at 243-2943.
Those who cannot attend but want to support the breast care center resource initiative can send donations to Baptist Health Foundation, P. O. Box 830605, Birmingham, AL 35283-0605 or call 1-877-474-4243.