New England Patriot Matt Light Takes Aim to Keep Kids on Track
Light Foundation Prepares for its 8th Annual Celebrity Shoot-Out;
Taco, Smith & Wesson and EchoStor Take Over As Lead Sponsors
MAPLEVILLE, RI…The Light Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2001 by former New England Patriot and current ESPN analyst Matt Light, is gearing up for its annual signature fundraising event. The 2012 Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out will be held this September 18th, at the world-class Addieville East Farm in Mapleville, Rhode Island.
The Shoot-Out, now in its eighth year, offers participants the opportunity to match their shooting and archery skills against Light and celebrity guests. For the first time, a 3-D pop-up archery course is to be on the grounds courtesy of Cabela’s. In the past, attendees have ranged from: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Vince Wilfork, Julian Edelman, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Marcus Cannon, Nate Solder, Stephen Gostkowski, Deion Branch, Randy Moss, Dan Koppen, Tedy Bruschi, Adam Vinatieri, Larry Izzo, Lonnie Paxton, Russ Hochstein, Ellis Hobbs, Adalius Thomas, Mike Vrabel, Sammy Morris and Joe Andruzzi to Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Andre Tippett, and a host of others. Two of the world’s top shooters, Jerry Miculek and Max Michele, Jr., top chefs Ming Tsai and Michael Schlow, musicians Sully from Godsmack and Martin Sexton have also attended. At this year’s event, TV star Mike Fourtner of Deadliest Catch, the cast and crew of reality TV’s “Wicked Tuna,” fighter Mickey Ward, and actor Kevin Chapman will be on hand — as well as a few more well-known first-timers.
The Foundation has also announced three new top sponsors for this fall’s event: gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, HVAC giant Taco, and technology company EchoStor have signed on as silver sponsors. The gun industry also continues to support the event with companies like Sig Sauer, Ruger, and CamFour contributing the to the Shoot-Out as bronze sponsors, along with Douglas A. King Builders — and Putnam Investments has signed on as the fireworks sponsor. Other big supporters this year include Dunkin Donuts, JetBlue, Famars, Remington, Cabela’s and MGM Targets.
Since its inception in 2004, this fundraiser has helped contribute nearly four million dollars to the Light Foundation’s initiatives, which consist of various academic scholarships and programs for at-risk teens in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Light’s home state of Ohio, Tennessee, and Lafayette, Indiana. This also includes the opening of the Foundation’s outdoor camp and leadership facility Chenoweth Trails, which continues to be upgraded and expanded moving forward to support larger nonprofit groups’ efforts, and impact more kids from around the country.
Light says he wanted to develop a unique, high-profile charity event that would raise funds and exposure for his Foundation, and his love of the outdoors naturally came into play. “We’re thrilled to be going into our 8th year. We’ve been so fortunate to have generous sponsors and donors who come back year after year to support us. The Shoot-Out has grown in scope and size each season, and everyone anticipates getting out on the course and having some fun. In the world of fundraisers, there’s really nothing like it out there,” he adds.
Shooters in foursomes from all over New England, and around the country, will converge on Addieville to mingle with celebrities, enjoy a unique game lunch prepared by New England’s Wild Cheff, Denny Coriveau, and dinner by renowned steakhouse The Capital Grille. Spirits will be provided by Harpoon, Three Olives, and Cabin Fever Whisky, hand-rolled cigars by Rolling Stogies, a new 3-D pop-up archery course courtesy of Cabela’s. Lakeside fly fishing and shooting contests will be offered by some of each sport’s top names. The after party will feature entertainment by the Brothers McCann band, and Light will also run an unforgettable live auction with help from some surprise celebrities, including WAAF radio personality Greg Hill, and Lenny Clarke. The whole day will be capped off by a customized fireworks display by Colonial Fireworks — usually reserved for major events.
So is this a guys-only event? Absolutely not, says Light. “Many women are amazing shooters, and some of them have actually won the whole thing!” A fair majority of the nearly 300 shooters who register for this event and have never held a shotgun beforehand can arrive early at Addieville for safety lessons and some training time.
Addieville East Farm, founded in 1980, is located on 400 private acres inMapleville,Rhode Island, and offers clay shooting, archery, dog training, and fishing. It’s alsoNew England’s premiere pheasant hunting preserve. Each year, manager Jack O’Brien designs two 15-station courses with challenging, high-flying clay targets specifically for this event.
Since the first tournament in 2004, the Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out has been the main source of financial support for The Light Foundation’s efforts on behalf of youth. Light hopes the funding will continue to grow, as the need for more programs also grows. “Our goal is to be a beacon for charitable organizations, athletes and youth,” he adds, “to work hard, put their best foot forward, and strive to become champions in the game of life.”
About the Light Foundation:
The Light Foundation (www.mattlightfoundation org) was established in 2001 by 3-time Super Bowl Champion and 3-time Pro-Bowler Matt Light. Matt was drafted in 2000 out of Purdue University and become the anchor for the Patriots Offensive Line until his retirement in 2012. The Light Foundation strives to instill and augment the values of responsibility, accountability and hard work by providing youth with unique outdoor learning experiences that assist them in reaching their highest potential. Its goal is to lead young people down a path to becoming responsible members of their communities who are capable of passing on the torch of leadership and achievement to their friends and families. Matt Light received the third New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award in 2005, and in 2008, was presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his outstanding work in the community by the Bush administration. Since its inception in 2001, the Light Foundation has raised nearly $4 million for various programs and initiatives.