Gun show benefits Boys and Girls Club

MARIETTA – There was plenty to see during the second gun show to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County this weekend at American Legion Post 64 in Marietta.

The first event was held in November last year.

Firearms of every shape and size were displayed by vendors and collectors alike during the weekend show that ran both Saturday and Sunday.

Steve Heiss, of Waterford, brought a Beretta 12-gauge shotgun to trade Sunday.

“There were more vendors here Saturday, but I think some left early because of the weather (Sunday),” he said. “I enjoy the show and like supporting the Boys and Girls Club.”

Sunday was the first time Steve Hall, also from Waterford, had attended the gun show.

“I like to look at the knives on display,” he said. “I’m a collector of both Case and Buck knives.”

John Winstanley, who owns The Gun Shop on Washington County 9 in Reno, had a table full of firearms on display during the gun show.

“This is my first time exhibiting here,” he said. “We did pretty well on Saturday, but not a lot (Sunday), probably because of the weather.”

Winstanley, retired from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said he likes collecting, trading and selling the firearms.

“It’s more of a hobby for me. I enjoy doing this, and if vendors and collectors can help the Boys and Girls Club out, we should be doing that,” he said, adding that the area is fortunate to have a local club.

Steve Medley is president of the Boys and Girls Club board of directors.

“Considering the snowy weather, I think this was a very successful event,” he said. “We’re expecting to raise between $1,500 and $2,000 this time, and we’re hoping to hold another gun show in the fall, and maybe four each year.”

Medley said his brother, Keith, came up with the idea of a gun show to benefit the club last year.

“We’re always looking for a good fundraiser, so he suggested a gun show,” he said. “The proceeds help support our everyday expenses, like maintaining the van we use to transport kids to and from the club.”

Medley said it also takes around $250,000 a year just to keep the club’s doors open. He noted the club did receive a state grant through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in the amount of $500,000 this year.

“But that’s grant funding that has to be used to fix the roof and build a gym at our building on Lancaster Street,” Medley said. “So essentially that money is already gone.”

More than 270 people attended the two-day gun show.