Waterloo Gun Club raises $16k for veterans’ organization – HNGnews.com


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For the past five years, Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin have been providing free hunting and fishing excursions along with other outings to the state’s veterans. According to the organization, these opportunities allow the men and women who have served the United States through the military the chance to take part of activities they are passionate about.

A recent donation from the Waterloo Gun Club will now allow Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin to help provide even more veterans the chance to go on these free outings. Otto Reetz, president of the organization, was at the club on Tuesday, July 27 to accept a check for $16,000 representing the total amount raised though a fundraiser and direct donations.

He said it was incredible to see a donation of that amount.

“It’s amazing what we could do with that kind of money,” Reetz said.

The Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin president said the donation will help pay for the veterans to go on the outings since the service men and women do not pay for any part of the excursions.

“It would take us a half a year to raise this kind of money on our own,” said Reetz, who made a six-hour round trip drive to the club located in the Town of Portland. “This will allow us to take out a lot more people.”

“It’s overwhelming,” Reetz said. “It makes you emotional to see people giving to the organization that have the same feelings you do for the military and the sacrifices they make to serve.”

He noted during the drive to the clubhouse, it still had not soaked in that the organization was receiving $16,000.

The Waterloo Gun Club hosted a May 15 trap shoot fundraiser which is where the bulk of the money for Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin came from. In addition to shooting trap, there were 50/50 raffles and bucket raffles.

Other donations were also submitted from various businesses and groups outside of the trap shoot fundraiser.

Joe Thies, a club board member and organizer of the event, said during the day more than 400 people came to the club to either shoot trap or just enter the drawings and donate funds.

He hoped the fundraiser would bring in about $1,000 for Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin; Thies, of Waterloo, never expected to see the amount reach $16,000.

“It was absolutely amazing how many people came forward and donated,” he said. “It was amazing to see people not just donate items for the raffles, but their time to help get ready for it. I had no idea how big it would be.”

Reetz said the amount of money raised is also a reflection on the type of support the gun club and surrounding communities have for veterans.

This was the first time the club had worked with the organization, but Thies already had a connection to Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin. As a veteran, he’d gone on an outing hosted by the group. Additionally, Thies and Reetz had a mutual friend who helped introduce the pair.

“I thought it was amazing what (Reetz) was doing for veterans,” Thies said. “To me, there is nothing better than giving back to the local veterans.”

The club member recalls what it was like to see the many veterans who came to participate in the trap shooting fundraiser.

“We had local veterans come out and tell us how amazing it was,” Thies said. “We had 50 flags lined up along the road (on the day of the fundraiser) and people were actually getting emotional about it. Just to see them, it’s awesome to see.”

After the success of the inaugural Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin, Thies planss to make it an annual event. He said it would likely again be held in May.

“Hopefully it will just get bigger and better,” he said.

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