Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Hosts Inaugural Richard L. Trumka Memorial Get Youth Outdoors Day
Nearly 75 youth experienced the excitement of sporting clays and fishing firsthand on Saturday, June 25 during the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) Inaugural Richard L. Trumka Memorial Get Youth Outdoors Day at the Point at Pintail in Queenstown, Maryland.
The free community event followed on the heels of the USA’s Inaugural AFL-CIO Richard L. Trumka Memorial Sporting Clays Shoot, both named in honor of late USA Chairman of the Board and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, whose passion for hunting, fishing, shooting and passing on the outdoor heritage helped launch and shape the mission of the USA.
“One of Rich Trumka’s favorite things to do was to take his grandsons fishing—to pass on an outdoor tradition that his dad passed down to him,” said Kinsey Robinson, USA chairman of the board and president emeritus of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers. “Rich believed that every family should get to experience that bond, so I know he would be proud to have a youth outdoors event named in his honor. I just wish he could have been there with us to see all the smiles on the kids’ faces as they connected with the great outdoors and made memories that will last a lifetime.”
The inaugural event was the first USA outreach event to combine shooting and fishing, and volunteers provided the kids with safety training and hands-on assistance with both. Nancy Kules attended the event with her children. “My husband is an injured Army veteran and shooting with multiple kids can be challenging without other trained adults to help. This was an excellent opportunity for our family and made it a lot easier for us to continue to expose our kids safely and confidently to shooting.”
“I think Rich Trumka would have been pleased to see so many new shooters and anglers participate in this inaugural event bearing his name,” said USA CEO and Executive Director Walt Ingram. “I know he would have been beaming with pride knowing his grandchildren got to enjoy their first Get Youth Outdoors Day with their mother and father. I can’t help but hear him say, ‘This was good. Now, go do more of it,’ and we will. Of course, we couldn’t have put on this event without the support of our volunteers, led by USA Chairman of the Board Kinsey Robinson and his wife Mona.”
The Roofers International played a big part in the event’s success with a handful of volunteers including Mitch and Ardith Terhaar, Jamie Zimolong and Brent Beasley in addition to the Robinsons. Zach Galis of International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 51, who has attended USA sporting clays shoots since he was a teen, also volunteered along with John Browning from the Point at Pintail and Richard Trumka Jr.
The majority of participants had never fired a gun or caught a fish, but all left with a free fishing rod and reel to continue the hobby after the event.
“I love getting my kids out to do things we don’t get to do on a normal basis,” said Chloe Rufus, who attended the event with her daughter and son. “My son is fascinated with guns. I’m not a gun person myself, so having someone with knowledge show him the proper ways of doing it was awesome. Both the kids enjoyed fishing too.”
The event was part of a series of free, community-based youth outreach activities, sponsored by Humana, organized under the USA’s Work Boots on the Ground conservation program and supported by national partner Provost Umphrey Law Firm as well as USA founding partners UIG, ULLICO, Bank of Labor, AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation and Buck Knives.
“The deepest bonds are forged outdoors. My best memories with my dad revolve around hunting and fishing,” said Richard Trumka Jr., who assisted participating youth at a shooting station. “I talked to so many young folks who were picking up a gun for the first time, and I was so happy to witness the joy it sparked. My dad would have loved to see the kids picking up great safety practices and learning to improve their shooting. And if just one of those kids spends more time outdoors because of the event, it was worth all our time and more.”