A mistake and many acts of sportsmanship seen at Down East Garand Club in March

Presented by Mark Valletta, President of Down East Garand Shooters

The Down East Garand Shooters (DEGS) is a CMP affiliated club in eastern North Carolina that has a tradition of awarding one lucky member an M-1 Garand at our annual end of the year banquet. Any member who has competed in a minimum of five relay matches per season is eligible to be included in the drawing for the M-1 Garand.

This year the draw procedure went off the rails due to a bad decision on my part. Typically, all eligible member names go into a pot and are drawn one at a time, eliminating each member as we go. The last person standing gets the rifle. It’s a slightly more dramatic way to give the rifle away instead of just drawing the name and be done with it.

I’ll spare the details, but the end result was that our member, Chris Hymen, through no fault of his own, was given an unfair advantage at the end of the draw. My mistake got member Kim Morey stripped of a win. That was totally up to me and my poor suggestion how to solve this problem.

Anyway, Kim Morey was going to be the winner of the raffle, and Chris went on his way. The first act of sportsmanship was for Chris to say straight away that we should draw in the first game of the season. We immediately decided to redraw our first game of the 2023 season. (Thanks for the idea, Chris! I owe you some ammo as a consolation prize, my friend!)

As we worked out the match problem at the banquet, Tom Wareham later suggested to me that since some people have won multiple rifles over the years, it would be great if a winning member who had previously won a rifle voluntarily gave it to someone who had won. He never won a rifle. He said that if he won this year, he would pass it on to a member who hadn’t received one in the past. Another more sporty suggestion.

Well, Tom didn’t win, but apparently the idea ignited the spark.

The new rifle giveaway happened on Saturday March 18th and, low and behold, Jason Cisarano (previous winner of two Garands) was the winner. Tony Simonetti, who had never won a rifle before, was the penultimate member standing in the draw. Jason decided that he wanted to let Tony keep the rifle. After some haggling, Tony reluctantly agreed.

Thank you, Jason, for your act of sportsmanship!

Shortly after the game, Tony came up to Jason and me and said, “You know, Kim Morey should have ended up with this rifle at the banquet.”

Although he had never won one of our rifles, Tony decided he wanted Kim to keep the rifle. We asked Kim to come over and we introduced her to the 2022 Season Garand. She was excited.

I can never begin to say enough about the caliber (no pun intended) of the character of the members of this club, and beyond that, the many people who are involved in shooting sports. I consider it an honor to be associated with each of you. Thank you to our club members for giving my banquet a grand finale!

CMP encourages you to get involved in your local clubs and help help new shooters get started in the sport of target shooting. Find your local club on our website at https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=clubSearch or contact your local state director at https://thecmp.org/training-tech/ state-director/ to find out how you can help in your state.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearms safety and marksmanship training and the promotion of marksmanship competition for United States citizens. To learn more about the CMP and its programs, log on to www.TheCMP.org.