Turkey shoot to benefit Christmas event for children

By Staff
Melissa Cason
HALEYVILLE – Attention all hunters!
The Haleyville Fire and Rescue has the perfect way for you to get ready for the upcoming hunting season as they will host a turkey shoot on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Haleyville Police firing range.
Firefighter Dean Morgan said everyone in the area is invited to attend the event including hunters from Franklin County.
"We've never done anything like this before, but we'd like to see all area hunters come out and join in the fun," Morgan said.
The event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon that day, and a gift certificate for a turkey will be given to the winner of each round.
"Participants have to bring their own shotguns," Morgan said. "But it's a great time to test out the shotguns before hunting season starts next month."
Each shot will cost $3 and shells for the rounds will be provided by the fire department. No props of any kind or scopes will be allowed. Each shotgun will only be able to win three times.
"If the same shotgun wins three rounds, then the shotgun must be put away," Morgan said.
All proceeds from this event will go to the department's Christmas by the Lake, which will be held in December.
Morgan said Christmas by the Lake is more than just Christmas lights.
"We are expecting to put up around 300,000 lights this year," he said. "We will have hot chocolate, cookies, coffee, and every child will receive one toy. Everything is free of charge."
Morgan said the department took over the Christmas by the Lake project a few years ago.
Morgan said one year a family with kids came in and were offered them hot chocolate and cookies. They politely said no. But, once we told them it was free, they decided they'd have some after all.
When the family left, they had a knock at the door, and the father asked the firefighters to step outside.
When they did, he told them they did not have any money, and the cookies and hot chocolate would be all the children would get for Christmas that year.
Morgan said even though the children did not have any money, they wanted to thank them for their kindness so the children sang them a Christmas carol.
"After that, we decided we'd continue Christmas by the Lake, and we started giving toys because that's all some children will get for Christmas," Morgan said.
In 2008, Christmas by the Lake attracted more than 16,000 people from all over including Phil Campbell, East Franklin, Danville, Memphis and Alaska.
"The visitors from Alaska and Memphis were already in the area visiting family, but we were glad they decided visit the lake," Morgan said.
750 children received toys last year from all over, and they are expecting 1,000 children this year.
"Times are tough," Morgan said. "We know there are a lot of families hurting this year, and we want to see the children of those families receive something because that's all they may get this year for Christmas."