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Event gives students a blast fundraising





Fort Hays State University's Criminal Justice Club hosted a trap shooting fundraiser Sunday at Hays City Sportsman's Club.

Tamara Lynn, faculty sponsor and justice studies instructor, said the program was a different fundraiser compared to other organizations' events. There are many sportsmen in the area, and it teaches gun safety and relates to the club's professional focus, she said.

Proceeds will go towards the group's upcoming trip to San Francisco. The members will volunteer at a domestic violence shelter and participate in a workshop at the Federal Bureau of Investigation's regional headquarters to meet a recruiter and learn from investigators' past cases.

The service-oriented club has helped with Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Inc., CASA and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ellis County. The intent is to help students network with professionals in the criminal justice and nonprofit fields and shape them to be "well-rounded citizens," Lynn said.

"Regardless of what careers they go into, whether it's law enforcement, courts or corrections, they're always going to have to deal with clientele that are served by these agencies," she said. "Basically, it teaches them how to deal with the people. If you can't do that, you can't be successful, period."

Rachel Montgomery, club member and a senior from Boise, Idaho, said she wants to be a probation or parole officer because she can serve the community without carrying a gun. It would allow her to help those who are ignored by many people in society.

"Sometimes good people do bad things," Montgomery said. "You just have to learn how to help them and get their lives back together."

Volunteering for a batterer intervention program taught her to see offenders beyond their crimes.

"That really helped me because it opened up my eyes to be like, 'Yeah, you know, these guys maybe made some really bad decisions, but it doesn't mean they're bad people,' " Montgomery said.

Chris Scheidegger, club member, said it was his first time shooting in several years. The wind made the targets drop faster, and he only hit two of 25. He said he also wants to a probation officer because they build rapport with those they serve.

Zeonnia Parrish, another club member, said the group has made her more involved with her studies. Parrish said she wants to be a police officer.

The group's volunteer work at the shelter in California will include serving food and making bracelets the shelter will sell for fundraising, she said.

There was a raffle for various donated prizes and gift cards to restaurants and retailers.