In late spring of 2009, Officer Steve Baughman and I stood on the front steps of the Acworth Police Department, and devised a plan--a plan to draw in law enforcement officers from the local area to raise money for the Horizon League. The Horizon League is a recreation league for individuals with special needs. This organization has created a specialized field that accommodates wheelchairs and gives athletes with special needs the opportunity to participate in sporting activities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
We wanted to find a way to encourage sponsors who support the law enforcement community to donate to something to an event that law enforcement officers would be able to take part in. The “Covering the Bases” event that brought in the Acworth community and the Acworth Police Department were already a huge success, but “Shoot for the Horizon” was targeted to specifically involve the LEO community from Northwest Georgia for this worthwhile and rewarding cause.
Finally, we were tasked with getting the word out. We blasted emails and contacted our friends who were involved in competitive shooting. The first annual "Shoot for the Horizon" benefit shoot was held in 2010. We contacted several sponsors to get prizes for shooters and raffles. The response was phenomenal. We had guns, tactical gear, promotional items, and food donated with no problem. Together with Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, we hosted an event for 30 shooters. They competed in various courses of fire, ate lunch, networked and won lots of prizes.
In 2011 and 2012 we held our 2nd and 3rd annual shoots. The number of sponsors and shooters have grown tremendously since our first event. In the last three years "Shoot for the Horizon" has raised over $6000 with $3000 being raised at our 2012 event. This was only possible because of the support and generosity from our sponsors and the law enforcement officers who competed. After our 2013 event we have raised over $10,000 that was all donated to the Horizon League of Acworth.
On August 20th 2016 we will be meeting at the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office firing range for our Sixth annual "Shoot for the Horizon". We are looking for donations and support for this year’s event. We have already had several sponsors jump on board by donating merchandise for prizes and raffles. We are also looking for vendors to participate on the day of the shoot. All sponsors will be able to set up a tent and display merchandise. This event draws a large law enforcement crowd and will be a great way to market and network. As always, lunch will be served and is free to our sponsors and shooters. I am including my information, if you would like to join us, please email or call me.
Lt. Mike Taylor
Acworth Police Department