Photo: Maple Park Police Department held its ‘Crazy Quail’ event in support of Special Olympics on Saturday at the St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club in Elburn. Crazy Quail is a new game where participants shoot targets thrown by a 360 degree rotating base. Event coordinators said that they had a good turn out and it was a busy and fun day all around. Here, Ted Smykowski of Elburn fires away. Photo by Kimberly Anderson
MAPLE PARK—People were signing in and waiting in line at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, even though the Crazy Quail shooting event didn’t begin until 9 a.m.
According to Maple Park resident Dean Goodenough, who hosted the event on his property, close to 200 people came out to shoot, cheer the shooters on or play a golf-chipping game, all to raise money for the Illinois Special Olympics.
“We were really happy with it,” Goodenough said.
The shooting event featured a beginner’s stand for young people and inexperienced shooters, as well as a high tower stand for more experienced shooters who wanted more of a challenge. The high tower stand features a 45-foot lift, from which an individual thrower releases the clay targets.
The Crazy Quail, designed by local manufacturer Barry Bordage, is an oscillating disk with up to four individual throwers attached, giving it the capability of throwing out 160 clay targets per minute.
“It takes shooting to a whole new level,” Goodenough said.
Bordage donated the use of three Crazy Quail machines, as well as four individual throwers, the lift for the high tower stand and staff, to make sure everyone was safe and had a good time during the event.
About 35 volunteers helped in various ways throughout the day, including a group of Kaneland High School students. Many local businesses sponsored and donated money and merchandise to make the fundraiser a success, including the Killian Financial Group, which donated the pork.
Goodenough said that people came from all over to participate in the event, including Winfield, Wheaton, Geneva, Batavia and Aurora, as well as Maple Park residents. Other participants included children as young as 8 years old, adults who had never shot before, and people that Goodenough thought might be over 80 years old.
A golf chipping game was available for people who didn’t want to shoot but still wanted to participate. There were three putting greens, and people won prizes based on where their ball landed.
The Maple Park Police Department Crazy Quail fundraising event raised $5,000 for the Illinois Special Olympics, pushing the 2013 fundraising amount to $62,000, surpassing its 2013 goal of $50,000.
Elburn resident Colleen MacRunnells, co-coordinator of the MPPD Law Enforcement Torch Run, had worked for the Illinois Department of Corrections and had been organizing Law Enforcement Torch Run events for the DOC for several years when she retired. At that point, she approached Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta about organizing the fundraisers for the MPPD, who readily came on-board.
According to Jim MacRunnells, who is Colleen’s husband, the police department and the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run partnership is in a good position for first place in the competition among Illinois police departments to raise the most money for Special Olympics.
With 325 police departments across the state raising money for Special Olympics, Jim said that the Maple Park Police Department is currently beating out much larger organizations, such as the Illinois State Police, the Chicago Police Department and the Joliet Police Department, for the top spot.
“It’s an impressive showing for such a small department, Jim said.
Maple Park has only one full-time officer, Chief Acosta, and five part-time officers.
“It’s a friendly competition,” Jim said of the Torch Run competition. “We’re just a little more competitive.”
The Illinois Special Olympics is a nonprofit organization providing year-round sports, training and competition to more than 22,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Illinois. Through training and competition, Special Olympics athletes enhance their physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence and social skills.
Other Maple Park Police Department fundraising events throughout the year include the Wheel of Meat Extravaganza at the Maple Park Pub in Maple Park, the Lobster Boil at Bootlegger’s in Maple Park, and the group’s largest fundraiser, the Pulling for Special Olympics event, which is a clay shooting event at the St. Charles Sportsman’s Club in Elburn. This year, that event netted $38,000, Jim said.
Several Special Olympians attended the event, including Elburn resident Eric Ream. Ream was eager to try his hand at shooting. With the assistance of an instructor standing next to him, he made four shots, and hit all four.
“He was the star on Saturday,” Jim said.
“Meeting the athletes is a high point in these fundraising events,” Jim said. “People get to see why we do what we do.”