Every January we make our annual pilgrimage to SHOT Show. This was our third year attending the world’s largest shooting, hunting, and outdoor trade show. Once on the ground, it gives us the ability to network, see friends, and spread our message to industry professionals from all over the world. The first 2 gentlemen that I met on the way from the airport to my hotel, were from Israel. We shared common taste in backpacks and we were all rocking Vertyx packs. As we spoke, I learned more about what is happening on the ground there. It was surreal to hear first-hand accounts completely 180 degrees opposite from what the media was reporting. The media is not our friend, please remember that. I made a new friend on my way to the hotel. Nigel was my Uber driver and he quickly turned into my personal ride service for the week that I was there. It worked out sweet!
The first day of SHOT was dedicated to the media. I gave 4 interviews that day, 2 shows were national, and I had the honor of going on the Lars Larson show for the 4th time. It was a lot of fun and I felt good about how my message was received. At the show it allowed me to have face-to-face meetings with our partners. This gives me the ability to strengthen our relationships, create new content, and also to see the newest products for 2024. My first stop was Aero Precision. They have been a partner of ours since 2019 and our title sponsor since 2021. They are based in Washington and produce some of the most purpose-built and innovative products in the industry. We are thankful for their continued support. New for this year they had a new 22 suppressor, a Solus in 8.6 Blk Out, and a new side folding attachment for the Solus competition chassis. The side folder option is cool and I look forward to adding it to our Solus. I then met with the team with Vaultek. They are one of our newest title sponsors. I finished the night off with Aero Precision at their cigar bar party. All in all, it was a great first day and I went to bed early so I would be ready for day 2.
Day 2 started early for me as my driver showed up at 6:30 am to pick me up from my motel. Having a driver that I could text directly to get me where I needed to be when I needed to be was a huge asset. That kept me on schedule and allowed me the freedom to do all the things that I needed to do. On the second day, I focused on a few meetings with sponsors and potential sponsors. I also did some video work for a few partners for our YouTube channel. Since my first day was so media-focused, I was a little behind on all that I needed to accomplish. I went from meeting to meeting and I felt great about the progress that I was making. My goal for the trip was to shore up current partnerships and work towards attracting new partners who can help us get our organization across the country. My goal is to turn the 28,000 kids reached into 1 million and beyond, but for us to reach this lofty goal. We need support from the industry. In the afternoon I was honored to be able to attend the Midway Foundation for Youth Shooting Sports party as a guest of my good friend Sarah Albrecht. It was here I learned about all the great things the Potterfields, the owners of Midway, do to support youth shooting sports. As I sat there and listened to the different presenters, I found myself inspired that we might be able to get the help that we need. One thing that I focus on is legacy, my goal is for the Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation to live long and prosperous into the future. I’m hoping to be approved for an endowment from the Midway Foundation. This would give us the funding that we need and the ability to fundraise to help grow it for up to 20 years. This would be huge for our organization.
On the final day, I had the privilege of starting the day by going on the Bill Martinez Radio show. This was my first time being on his show and the biggest audience that I have ever been exposed to, it went great. His show aired on over 350 stations across the country, which was huge for our kid’s Gun Safety for Children program. Once finished I made it a point to visit all of our partners one last time to say goodbye and to thank them all for their continued support. I look forward to 2024 and if all goes according to plan expanding our program into Idaho, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Florida. That is if everything goes according to plan. Now the work
begins, all of the follow-ups. Please keep us in your thoughts. I’m thankful for all of the opportunities that we keep being afforded through all of our hard work. The pieces keep falling into place and the doors keep opening. What a ride it has been and we will continue to work until we get to ZERO! Until next time. Be safe!!