Enhance the outreach to women throughout the shooting and hunting industries! by Elise Sabbeth
Enthusiasm pervaded like sunshine at the sold-out fourth annual She Never Quit (SNQ) retreat this past October at Melanie and Marcus Luttrell’s Lazy J Ranch in Normangee, Texas. The vitalizing event was sponsored by the Woman’s Outdoor Media Association (WOMA), founded by Deb Ferns in 2008. The SNQ name was inspired by Marcus Luttrell’s He Never Quit Foundation which helps military men transition from military life to civilian life. Marcus Luttrell has become identified as “the Lone Survivor” and is the subject of a book and movie of that name.
When Deb Ferns learned of the Luttrells’ receptivity to hosting the WOMA event at their ranch, Deb came up with the name She Never Quit, which Melanie Luttrell enthusiastically endorsed. “Our goal,” Deb wrote. “was always to have a unique event that would make a significant difference and continue our ongoing message of women and firearms. We found our home working with Melanie Luttrell and Team Never Quit.”
About fifty women in the firearms industry along with outdoor media representatives met with shooting sports champions to learn about handguns, rifles and shotguns and to fish, hike, indulge in superb wild-game cuisine and wine pairings and, above all, to enhance the outreach to women throughout the shooting and hunting industries by collegially engaging with those who became new-found friends.
Lenee Landis, WOMA president, noted that several new benchmarks were set at this event, intended by Melanie Luttrell and Lenee to help more people by increasing the scope of their mission. SNQ enrichments included acquiring legal status as a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, offering scholarships, teaching the participants to use less-than-lethal-force defense techniques, gaining the sponsorship of the influential National Shooting Sports Foundation to enhance its list of generous industry sponsors such as Fiocchi USA and having the WOMA Foundation select two remarkable charities to be beneficiaries of its auction and other fundraising efforts: The Foundation For Women Warriors and The 100 Club of Central Texas.
Jodie Grenier, Executive Director of the Foundation for Women Warriors, (FWW), energetically explained that the FWW facilitates women veterans to maximize the application into civilian life the skills and wisdom gained in military service. The Foundation builds on the pillars of friendship, bonding, education, housing and child support to empower these women to strengthen themselves, their families and their communities and thereby build paths to authentic success.
This retreat was her first, and reflecting on it, Jodie described it as “transformative.” The firearms industry is very supportive of military veterans, she noted, but “this event brings women together to encourage, assist and inspire then to help each other.” Among the most inspiring statements on the FWW website is: “You didn’t get this far just to come this far.” Although these women are fighters, they welcome support as they battle all too often obstacles in the civilian world.
The 100 Club of Central Texas is committed to providing immediate financial and emotional assistance to the families of first responders killed or critically injured in the line of duty. Currently The 100 Club supports more than fifteen thousand emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and law enforcement officers across six Central Texas counties.
Read their websites and help to the degree you can. A word of caution: it may be prudent to have some Kleenex nearby when you read the websites, because the intensity of the personal stories of these women warriors and first responder families would bring tears to a statue. SNQ’s noble mission and that my dad had gone on a safari in South Africa with Marcus Luttrell inspired me to write this article. My only concern is that I may lack the poetic command to faithfully capture in a cage of words the grace, the dedication, the passion and the achievements of these extraordinary women.
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