September 22, 2006

Sport shooting event to benefit the disabled

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Allan Guyet

Sport shooting event to benefit the disabled

Dale Wiley believes he has come full circle. Forty-five years after he suffered a spinal cord injury in an automobile accident and was treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, an event he founded — a sporting clay and trap shoot for both disabled and able-bodied shooters — is being sponsored by VUMC.

The event, Shoot for the Future (SFTF), pairs spinal-cord injured and able-bodied shooters, and will be held Oct. 6 and 7 at the Tennessee Clay Target Complex on Old County Hospital Road.

Sponsored by VUMC, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and TIBA at the Mall at Green Hills, the event is co-chaired by Gov. Phil Bredesen and Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs at VUMC. The sponsors plan for the event to be held annually, and proceeds will benefit the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Gear Foundation, two foundations in Tennessee that help the disabled.

Wiley, the founder of Shoot for the Future, is a retired registered lobbyist who worked with five Tennessee governors and two presidents designing disabled accessibility legislation impacting parking, curbs, transportation, employment and mass transit.

His latest endeavor has been making capital improvements in the Tennessee Clay Target Complex to make it the only disabled-accessible facility in the South, and the only one between Nashville and Phoenix.

Wiley said that he received a $16,000 donation from Vanderbilt to help with the improvements. After getting on the phone and working his contacts, the $125,000 project was completed for $27,585 with the help of numerous in-kind donations.

The entry fee for the event, to be held from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. on both days, is $150. Registration can occur on site the day of the event or in advance by calling 504-9765. There are only 100 spots available — 50 able-bodied and 50 disabled.