Erin Callahan Transforms Clay Into Life and Joy
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Erin Callahan is the founder of the Merry Miracles Sporting Clay Shoot and Toy Drive Benefitting Children’s Hospital. The Third Annual Shoot was held on December 2, 2017 at Colorado Clays, the full-service shooting facility owned by Cory and Doug Kraft a few miles east of Denver.
For several years Erin has been a member of the Rocky Mountain Clay Busters, a Colorado shooting team under the auspices of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP). The SCTP was implemented by the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, (SSSF), the largest youth shooting program in the world.
Fiocchi USA is a major donor to the SSSF. I saw cases of Fiocchi shotgun shells piled high at the entrance to the 2017 Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) National Championships sponsored by the SSSF at the Cardinal Trap Shooting Facility in Marengo, Ohio.
Erin is a shooter of singular achievement. She is the 2017 Colorado State Overall Ladies Sporting Clays Champion.
Many of us, perhaps most, have seen people suffering and in need of medical treatment and sometimes needing little more than a reason to smile. Most of us have empathy for those suffering; fewer are those that act to reduce suffering and provide help. Erin is one of the few inhabiting that rarified atmosphere where empathy is transformed into action. The 2017 shoot raised over $13,000 for Children’s Hospital and received hundreds of toys for children.
Erin’s inspirations for the Merry Miracles shoot were seeing her cousin, Lucy, battle illness from birth and then the diagnosis of thyroid cancer of her best friend, Megan. With unreflecting modesty, Erin told me: “I wanted to help as much as I could.”
The parking lot was packed. Shooter Dave Sullivan commented, “This event was the most successful fundraiser in Colorado, and it was started by a teenager! There were more registered shooters than at the state championship.” The winning youth shooter was Michael Hitchcock-Kuhn of the SCTP team Grateful Guns of Glenwood Springs, achieving the enviable score of 89/100. Grateful Guns is one of twelve SCTP teams in Colorado.
I asked Erin’s dad, “How proud are you of your daughter?” Dan replied: “Words can’t describe it. She’s a special girl.” Ya think?
By deed and spirit, Erin Callahan is a great leader.. The mission of the SCTP is “to help young athletes reach their potential of becoming the best athletes and young adults that they can be.” Erin Callahan, I expect, is nowhere near reaching her potential. She’s just beginning. But as of this moment, certainly, we can say, with pride, “Mission accomplished!”
By Michael Sabbeth
Michael Sabbeth is a lawyer and writer in Denver, Colorado. See his book The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values. Available at Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/c5flmmu and available as a Kindle EBook.