When the Darrington Archers hosted the National Field Archery Outdoor National Championships, the town of Darrington, Wash. offered its full support for the contest and the 400 competitors who traveled from around the nation, said Gale Fiege of The Herald.
The archery contest is a big community event… Darrington Archers secretary Candy Vincent said. Most of the visiting archers stay in family homes and eat home-cooked meals at the Community Center.
The community involvement was most evident in March when the Darrington Archers noticed that about $3,000 worth of supplies had been stolen from the association's office.
"People in town rallied because they knew we were getting ready for nationals," Vincent said. "Our business owners and many friends donated so that we fully recovered from the burglary. We also have Darrington people who clean and prepare the course trails and help us in so many ways."
Like in Darrington, archery brought the people of Cullman, Ala., together as well, albeit under a different circumstance.
On April 27, 2011, vicious storms, including an EF-4 tornado, ripped through Cullman, damaging homes, businesses, personal property, and the Cullman Community Archery Park that served as a gathering place for local archers. The Bowhunters of Alabama (BHA) State Championship tournament was supposed to take place at the park for the first time in August 2011, but there was little time to return the park to working order after the storm.
Cullman residents, Heritage Archery Club members and BHA members from throughout the state teamed up to repair the archery park. Their work, said Shane Cupp, president of the Heritage Archery Club, helped restore normalcy for the community and paved the way for one of the most successful tournaments in BHA history.
“The sense of community archery provides is like a family, and we restored our home base, the archery park, as a family,” Cupp said. “Entire families showed up on work days at the park. Our method of cleaning up was an extension of the fundamentals archery teaches: working together, building values and getting outdoors as a family. We couldn’t have done this any other way.”
To read the full story covering Darrington's strong archery community, visit The Herald.
News page photo: Union Gospel Mission, Flickr Creative Commons