'Dare to Care' Turkey Shoot

Middletown jeweler makes good
on Louise Mandrell connection

The Singer will visit Middletown in December

By Helen McKinney
Contributing Writer

MIDDLETOWN, Ky. (December 2003) – Mark Metry really wants turkeys. But not for himself. “It’s all about feeding the hungry at Christmas,” he said.
Metry is the owner of Metry’s on Main Jewelry Shoppe, located in the heart of the quaint Middletown shopping district. He has struck upon an idea, which he hopes will evolve into an annual charity event at his business.

Mark Metry, Louise Mandrell

Photo provided

Mark Metry with
singer Louise Mandrell.

Metry is partnering with the “Dare to Care Food Bank” in Louisville to provide turkeys to needy families for the holidays. After approaching Director of Development Denton Randall with his idea for a fundraiser, Denton told him high protein foods, such as turkeys, were an item most needed this time of the year.
Three weeks before the event, a commitment of 50 turkeys or more had already been made, said Randall. Founded in 1971, this food bank feeds families in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. A 33,000-square-foot facility was erected in 1987 on Fern Valley Road in Louisville from private and public donations.
But what makes this event so special for Metry is that his close, personal friend, country music star Louise Mandrell, will be a part of it. Mandrell is donating time from her hectic schedule to appear at Metry’s store in support of this project.
“I’m lucky to call her my friend,” said Metry of this country music legend. Mandrell often lends a helping hand to charity events and even sponsors her own annual “Louise Mandrell Celebrity Shoot.” This nationally televised event has raised nearly $1 million for the Boy Scouts of America.
It was at one of these annual Celebrity Shoots to which Metry’s best friend, Rick Probus, had been invited. Knowing he could invite one guest, Probus asked Metry to attend with him. After introducing Mandrel to Metry, they hit it off because both had wonderful personalities, he said.
Probus, owner of Creations Hair Designs, has known Mandrell for 13 years. Since 1986, he has been a celebrity hairdresser. He was introduced to Mandrell while on the road with other celebrities such as Wynona Judd, Tanya Tucker and Alan Jackson. “She heard about me and called me,” said Probus.
“This is a great way to give back to the community,” said Probus. UPS is lending a hand locally, as well as Sanderson Farms, distributors of the Miss Goldy brand of chicken. “This definitely has potential to become an annual event,” said Probus.
To be in sync with the season, Metry is labeling his fundraiser the “Louise Mandrell Turkey Shoot.” Although no live turkeys will actually be shot, Dare to Care will provide a refrigerated truck the day of the event in which to keep the frozen donated turkeys, said Randall.
Mandrell is an expert marksman, said Metry. She has earned high honors in shooting competitions and is an avid trap, skeet and sporting clays shooter. She is also an articulate leader in promoting shooting sports, a strong advocate for gun safety and a tireless fighter for Second Amendment Rights.
Mandrell has been endorsed by National Rifle Association (NRA) President Charlton Heston and held a seat on the NRA Board of Directors. Because of her love of the sport and willingness to educate others about firearm safety, she gained the title of Honorary Chairwoman of the National Hunting and Fishing Day in 1996. U.S. Congress set this day aside in 1971 in recognition of the contributions of hunters and anglers to wildlife conservation.
Randall said he was delighted at the prospect of having Mandrell lend her support to this fundraiser, which he would “love to do on a regular basis.”
Turkeys will be collected from noon until 4 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Metry’s on Main, 11712 Main St. Metry said he is also planning to give away prizes for such things as the largest turkey donated. Any purchase made between Nov. 1 and Dec. 13 at Metry’s will enter customers into a drawing for a weekend getaway in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. This will include accommodations, a backstage pass and a show at the Louise Mandrell Theatre.
Donated prizes include a watch from the Citizen Watch Co., a special piece of jewelry to be given away, and a guitar autographed by all three Mandrell sisters, Louise, Erlene and Barbara.
Many members of the community are lending a supportive arm, too. David Hobbs of River City Bank has donated a heated tent for the event. Metro Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson may attend the fundraiser if his schedule allows.
Turkey donations can be made prior to the event. Metry said he hopes to “have to empty the (refrigerated) truck and come back for more.”
Metry will also hold an open house from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in his business at that same day. Mandrell will still be on hand to mingle with shoppers. Metry said he thought this would be a good time for an open house because many “panicky men” wait until the last minute to purchase jewelry items for holiday presents.
Metry was reluctant about approaching Mandrell with this idea, not wanting to ruin their friendship to capitalize on his idea. But Mandrell insisted on helping, and after a performance on Saturday night, Dec. 13, she plans to get into a car driven by her personal assistant in order to be in Middletown the next day. She is “generous to a fault,” said Metry.
Mandrell’s Pigeon Forge Theatre is also a drop off for surplus food, so that it does not go to waste while there are hungry people living in the community. It is distributed to food banks in eastern Tennessee.
After recently seeing a news report that related the fact that there were 4,000 homeless children in Jefferson County, Metry said, “The need is out there. I really want turkeys.”

For more information contact Metry at (502) 254-5395. To make additional donations to Dare to Care, contact Randall at (502) 966-3821.



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