WKYT - Paris - Headlines

Parents sell raffle tickets for gun to help Paris football program

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

Fall means football, and for the Greyhounds of Paris there's a deep history of success. Now, the parents are hoping to help bring in more money for the program.

"I can't write the check for the amount of money that a raffle would have generated," said Jennifer Arnett, a parent of two Greyhound players.

For $3, a person would have a chance to win a hunting rifle, a Smith & Wesson Assault rifle, that some describe as similar to the M-16.

"Somebody approached me about how we can raise some money, and I said I'd be glad to donate a rifle," recalled Arnett, who also owns the Smokin' Gun Shop.

The organizers say they've done something like this before, donating a similar rifle to help the Paris youth baseball program and it was a success, according to Arnett. Since it was such a hit, they thought they'd do the same thing for the football teams. Only this time, some parents are seeing it as a bit of a concern.

"As a parent of a child in the program, I have not heard anything about this yet," said one parent who did not want to be identified.

Still, when this parent learned about the grand prize, she was left wondering if it was the best prize to associate with the school's program.

"We could come up with something a bit more appropriate to raffle off for a school's program."

"It seems a bit inappropriate, there's probably a whole bunch of other things that they could probably [give away] that aren't going to harm anybody," said one Paris resident.

"It's a personal choice, just like anything else, if you do hunt or you like guns and collect them, then you buy a raffle ticket," countered another Paris resident.

Arnett says the details were worked out with the school's football coach, and the school's principal says she was unaware there was a raffle, especially one promising a gun.

"I didn't check with the school because the school coaches told me it'd be okay," said Arnett.

"It's not something that I would've approved. Again, I think it was good intentions but not the appropriate setting," said Paris High School Principal, Jami Dailey.

Now the school says they are putting a stop to the raffle, leaving the fundraiser up in the air.

"It's just unfortunate," said Arnett. "We were hoping to raise $10-thousand for the football program, plain and simple."

Still many of the parents are hoping to find something that can help this program that has so much pride.

Arnett says the winner of the prize would need to come to her store to claim the gun, and would still be subject to a complete background check, like any other purchase.

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