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Handgun Raffle For Boys & Girls Club Event Stirs Outrage

James Case

Normally a fundraiser for a Boys and Girls Club is well-received. But one in Florence is firing up controversy, as the grand prize for a raffle is a 9mm handgun. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

The Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County event is Saturday night, with a lip-sync contest and food…all to help support youth programs. So some residents – like Greg Anderson of Florence – are incredulous that a gun is being raffled.

A flyer for the "Fraudville" event in Florence.

“It seems like a crazy thing to do, to auction off weapons for the benefit of children who are being slaughtered at school by these very weapons,” says Anderson.

The Boys and Girls Club director did not return a request for comment. But Pastor Bob Barrett of the Yachats Community Presbyterian Church says he’s been in touch, and says this is the last time a gun will be raffled.

“They have told their organizer for the fundraiser that they will not participate in that any longer, and so I applaud them for that," Barrett tells KLCC. 

"And I really am looking forward to working with them, and have talked about the possibility of doing a fundraiser here in Yachats for them to make up for any lost monies.”

The Florence raffle will continue as planned. Barrett says organizers claim they have no legal basis to cancel it.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.