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July 6, 2015

National Shooting Sports Foundation Awards $60,000 Scholarships to 25 Students

For immediate release

July 6, 2015

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Bill Brassard

National Shooting Sports Foundation Awards $60,000 in Scholarships to 25 Students

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Through its popular annual essay contest for employees of Voting Member companies and their family members, the National Shooting Sports Foundation® has awarded $60,000 in scholarship funds to 25 students who distinguished themselves through their writing ability. NSSF® is the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.

To earn one of the 25 scholarships offered, employees of NSSF Voting Member companies or their qualified family members submitted applications and essays on one of three topics—”Why ‘Smart Gun’ Technology is Not the Answer to Gun Safety,” “Explain to Your Friends Why Firearms Ownership, Hunting and/or Target Shooting Are Important to You” and “Gun Safety Doesn’t Mean Gun Control.”

As it happened, all of the top-scoring essays were on the same topic, “Explain to Your Friends Why Firearms Ownership, Hunting and/or Target Shooting Are Important to You.”

“It makes all of us at NSSF feel good to see these students honored through the NSSF Voting Member Scholarship Program,” said Samantha Hughes, NSSF’s Member Services Coordinator who manages the Voting Member Scholarship Award Contest. “And I’m sure their parents, families and associated companies take great pride in their accomplishments.”

Earning the Grand Prize $8,000 scholarship was Connor Hanson, whose father is an employee at Vista Outdoor. Connor will be a freshman at Bethel University this fall. In his essay, Connor recalled the indelible memory of a deer hunt with his dad on a frigid morning as well as the spiritual nature of hunting.

Taking the First Prize scholarship of $5,000 was Nathan Huelsmann, whose father is an employee at Olin/Winchester. Nathan will be a junior at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Earning the Second Prize scholarship of $3,000 was Eric Buenemann, whose dad is also an employee at Olin/Winchester. Eric will be a sophomore at the University of Missouri – Columbia.

In addition to Vista Outdoor and Olin/Winchester, other NSSF Voting Member companies with scholarship winners are Beretta, Leopold & Stevens, St. Mark’s Powder, Remington, Sturm Ruger, Sig Sauer, Browning, Smith & Wesson and Otis Technology.

Twenty-two other students earned $2,000 scholarships. They are Eleana Nichole Huelsmann (Olin/Winchester), Christina M. Morgal (Beretta), Schuyler Elaine Frashier (Vista Outdoor), Matthew Robert Willey (Olin/Winchester), Julia Ann Bibko (Olin/Winchester), Riley Daniel Lynch (Olin/Winchester), Connor Lee Daliposon (Leopold & Stevens), Courtney Leigh Ricciardi (St. Mark’s Powder), Megan Marie Eubanks (Olin/Winchester), Megan Danielle Evans (Remington), Brandon Davis Shaffer (Sturm Ruger), Kaylee Danielle Wilson (Olin/Winchester), Hannah Rose Shawver (Sig Sauer), Ryan Scott Furse (Browning), Samanda Jonell Robinson (Olin Winchester), Hailey Patricia Conger (Remington), Draco Zade Neil Newland (Olin/Winchester), Michael Daniel Willey (Olin/Winchester), Alexandra Anne Allen (Smith & Wesson), Joe William Dunn (St. Mark’s Powder), Tracey A. Fowler (Otis Technology) and Ian M. Murphy (Sturm Ruger).

NSSF makes the scholarships available as a means of thanking its Voting Members for their substantial financial support of NSSF and its mission to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.

“The essays submitted for this contest never fail to impress us,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF Director of Member Services. “Students demonstrate a good understanding of issues affecting firearms ownership in America, and some write movingly about their experiences hunting and target shooting. This scholarship program allows NSSF to recognize its Voting Member companies for their extraordinary commitment to their trade association.”


About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit

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