Desert Eagles Flying Club to host fundraiser for food bank

Pay to shoot paintballs at planes

Paintball shooting event will be...

SHELLY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Desert Eagles Flying Club is giving everyone a chance to shoot paintball guns at moving model airplanes. And it's all for a good cause.

Saturday, June 24, the club is holding their annual open house. But this year, for the first time, the open house will be a fundraiser. The fundraiser is for the Idaho Food Bank. 

Club members, food bank representatives and media representatives were all invited to give the paintball guns a test run a week before. They got to take their shots at the moving plane and learn to fly others. 

The public can shoot paintball guns at the moving airplanes. For $2, a person gets ten shots. Every dollar raised goes to the food bank. 

Jim Beitz, manager of the Idaho Food Bank eastern branch, said donations to the food bank tend to slow down in the summer compared to holidays so extra help is needed. He said every single dollar makes a big difference.

"With the Idaho Food Bank, we can do about four meals for every dollar so everything they bring in - for example, a thousand dollars we would have four thousand meals that goes to the 55,000 food insecure people in East Idaho," Beitz said.

Alan Tucker, president of the Desert Eagles Flying Club, said the group chose the food bank because they felt its impact was large.

"We thought the food bank had a wide appeal," Tucker said. "It wasn't a splinter focus group, it wasn't for just a specific small cause."

The planes the public can shoot at on Saturday are called "Spads." They are made mostly of corrugated plastic, just like political campaign signs. Tucker said they cost about $10 to make. 

At the fundraiser, there will also be other planes and flying machines on display for people to see. There will be glider planes, helicopters, drones and more, Tucker said. 

Tucker said so far putting the word out about the event has received a great response. He said he's excited to see the public take their shots.

"I think it's great fun," he said. "We've enjoyed it this morning watching the news reps take their turns and trying to fly some airplanes and shoot at them. It's been great fun and we have great hopes for it."

"When they contacted me I had no idea what to expect and I hope they do it every year now and it just gets bigger and bigger," Beitz said. "This is fun stuff to come out here and shoot these paintballs."

The fundraiser starts at 9 a.m. and runs for a few hours on June 24th. It will be at the Desert Eagles Flying Field in Shelly. It's near Andrus Trucking. There are signs near Andrus Trucking to show you how to get to the field. 

Tucker said there will also be raffle items as well, including a $250 gift card to Hobby Town USA. He said he just hopes everyone can come out and support the food bank.

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