USA Shooting announces the Raise the Flag donation campaign to support the USA National Shooting Team goal of becoming the most dominating nation in the sport of Shooting by the LA 2028 Summer Olympics and beyond. Funds raised through the campaign will focus on developing Junior athletes by providing them the opportunity to compete internationally and supplying additional training resources to support their journey to attend Junior competitions in perpetuity.
The Hal & Jean Glassen Memorial Foundation is the first foundation grant of the Raise the Flag campaign with a $500,000 endowment grant over the course of the next 5 years that will play a legacy role in expanding the pipeline for USA Shooting. The goal of the campaign is to raise $1.5 million to help support international competitive experiences for the Juniors. One of USA Shooting’s core beliefs is successful juniors develop into successful international competitors. The Glassen Foundation Endowment supports USA Shooting’s vision to invest in the future by investing in their youth.
For the first time in history, the ISSF (International Shooting Sports Federation), the governing body for international shooting, included a stand-alone Junior World Championship in 2020. The inaugural Junior World Championships were scheduled to take place in Suhl, Germany in mid July 2020, but due to COVID-19 are now cancelled. The Raise the Flag campaign funds will provide Team USA opportunities to field competitive teams at future Junior World Championships.
“USA Shooting’s decision to participate in the Junior World Championships provides an unparalleled opportunity for American youth to achieve competitive excellence,” said Tom Huggler, president of the Hal & Jean Glassen Memorial Foundation. “As a legacy sponsor, our partnership with USA Shooting will help ensure continued Olympic greatness, create opportunities for the next generation and inspire the entire Shooting community in the U.S.”
“We are truly excited to be partnering with the Glassen Foundation in supporting our juniors and our pipeline,” said Chad Whittenburg, Chairman of the Board, USA Shooting. “We launched this Raise the Flag campaign with the hopes of further investing into our athletes and into their future. Today with this commitment, we take a large step towards our goal of Raising the Flag in Tokyo next summer and beyond to Los Angeles in 2028!”
“We are excited to announce the Raise the Flag campaign and the endowment partnership with the Glassen Memorial Foundation,” said Bob Gambardella, USA Shooting Interim CEO. “We believe that developing a sustainable athlete pipeline is the lifeline in the development of world-class, podium-ready athletes. We appreciate the foundation’s vision to help USA Shooting’s goal of being the most dominating nation at the 2028 Summer Olympics on our home soil. On behalf of the leadership at USA Shooting, I want to thank Tom Huggler and the Glassen leadership in helping lay the foundation for our nation’s youth development in shooting.”
The relationship between USA Shooting and the Hal & Jean Glassen Memorial Foundation is supported by aligned core values that support both organizations’ missions. Shared core values include efforts to promote and proliferate safe and responsible gun ownership and promote and provide competition shooting opportunities.
“Competing internationally at Junior World Cup and Junior World Championships and competing overseas in general is a huge experience. It’s a good way to see what you’re going to be doing in the future. I’m competing with some of those same people in Tokyo,” said Austen Smith (Keller Texas), USA Shooting Shotgun Skeet Olympic Qualified Athlete. “The spectators, competitors, time change, and really everything affects you and prepares you for when you’re out on the field for the Olympic Games. In my opinion, our Junior Team is the best in the World. Getting to compete at home with Kim Rhode and Vinny Hancock, to name a few, prepares us for competitions overseas.” Smith is a 2017 Junior World Championship silver medalist, 2018 Junior World Championship bronze medalist, and 2019 Junior World Cup Gold medalist with a score of 123/125 which tied the world record. She beat out six-time Olympian Kim Rhode to earn her spot on the 2020 Olympic Shotgun Skeet Team.
To date, the Hal & Jean Glassen Memorial Foundation has donated $5 million to more than 60 organizations. Their purpose includes encouraging firearms shooting skills competition and promoting the lawful use and possession of firearms. USA Shooting carries on the proud tradition of medal-winning success and shooting skill unlike any other country in the world. Exemplifying the greatest defense possible for protecting, preserving and promoting the shooting sports legacy of this country. Throughout history, USA Shooting has won 110 Olympic medals.
Learn more at USA Shooting’s website.