Amid criticism, Indian Creek Athletic Boosters annual Sportsman’s Bash will go on

The Indian Creek School District is defending its athletic boosters annual Sporstmen’s Bash after receiving complaints from the community.

The Indian Creek School District is defending its athletic boosters annual Sportsman’s Bash after receiving complaints from the community.

A long list of firearms will be raffled off at the event, which is what some residents are upset with.

The district received complaints over the idea of having a gun raffle just a few weeks after another U.S. school shooting.

Residents even contacted us at WTOV9 sharing their concern.

School officials defending the bash explain why.

"We, in no way, shape or form would believe that one of our booster clubs holding a sportsman's raffle would have any type of impact on school safety," Superintendent T.C. Chappelear said.

Thus, they are standing by their decision to hold their 2nd annual Sportsman's Bash.

Chappelear says it was the most profitable athletic fundraiser last year.

"I'm not sure how many tickets they sold, but … I think they raised $31,000 for our athletic programs (last year)," Chappelear said.

Chappelear said he received zero complaints last year when the idea was brought up.

Chappelear and athletic boosters president Chad Norris believe the concern and criticism they're receiving this year is because the bash follows the Florida school shooting.

"Us having this sportsman's bash so soon after a tragedy such as that, it's not surprising that there are some folks that are concerned or have some emotional response to that," Chappelear said.

"I would agree with that. I think that's exactly what the cause and the public concern is, and I understand that," Norris said.

However, the bash was planned months in advance.

But what about the gun list? Included on it is an AR-15, the same type of firearm used in the Parkland shooting.

Norris says the gun list won't be changed for two reasons:

"Number 1, a lot of tickets have already been sold prior to Parkland, and that those weapons that we chose for that listing are very enticing to people to purchase our tickets,” Norris said. “So we wanted to be enticing to the buying public, and that's why the list of guns is what it is."

For those unaware how gun raffles are run, Norris wanted to clarify that the local arms dealer providing the weapons will be performing background checks.

"If somebody walked into their facility to purchase a gun, they would go through the same exact process," Norris said.

"People are not going to be bringing their own guns or weapons into this facility and trading them with other people or other patrons. This is simply a raffle, and anybody who does win must pass the federally mandated vetting process."

The Indian Creek Athletic Boosters Club is a separate entity from the school district.

The Sportsman's Bash is scheduled for March 10. Tickets are still available.

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