Ballinger Gun Show set for Oct. 3-4.

Staff Writer
Runnels County Register
Runnels County Register

The Ballinger gun show is the key fundraiser for the Ballinger Rotary Club every year. Ron Wood is the co-chairman of the gun show board and it’s a fundraiser that holds a special place in his heart, “I’m co-chair with Karl Vancil and he’s also put a lot of work into the gun show. It’s grown a good bit over the last 7 years. Particularly it’s grown with respect to the local sponsorships. We couldn’t do this without the individuals and businesses who are our local sponsors. They fund the gun show by underwriting the cost of it. We have 40 or so businesses that sponsor us and we so grateful. The walk-in gate (attendance) is about the same every year, as is the number of vendor tables. We’ll have local vendors and vendors from several hundred miles away that will come in to sell their items.”

Ken Kvapil is a former president of the Ballinger Rotary club, “We’ll be accepting sponsors until the middle of September because we put their names on a big banner in the gun show. I have to order it so we need to get our sponsors in before the order goes in so we can get them on the banner. That takes a couple of weeks. We have flyers that people can put up at their businesses around town if they’d like to. Many of our members take flyers out to the community.” Wood says that they also allow the vendors to bring in their own banners, “We allow sponsors to bring in their own banners and put them up during the show. It’s our way of showing our appreciation to them and giving them some advertising. They are also linked to our Facebook page and website.”

Kvapil says that the Facebook page can be easily located by typing in “Ballinger gun show” on the Facebook search. The website is www.ballingergunshow.com. They can see a list of our sponsors on the page.

Alvin Dunn is another former president of the Rotary Club and is always instrumental in setting up the gun show. He says that the vendors have a wide assortment of items, “They have everything from rifles to pistols to ammunition. I might add, some of the vendors being as that they know that we help with the Adoption Picnic, come strictly for that because they’re big supporters of that.” Kvapil says that the gun show is the primary fundraiser for the Adoption Picnic but also helps out in other ways, “It helps us bring scholarships to Ballinger, Winters and Miles. Anything we donate out to the area or any international projects comes from this.”

One thing that makes our show unique is that we feed the vendors. Karl Vancil attends a lot of gun shows and has a good feel for what works and what doesn’t and that’s why we feed the vendors a chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy.” Kvapil says that it’s a good way to present the Rotary mission to the vendors, “At the supper we tell the vendors what Rotary is and what the money goes towards. They all seem to appreciate for what the money goes to.”

Dunn says that the gun show is ever-evolving, “It’s a wonderful thing. ” Much of the money goes to the Rotary Adoption picnic“. Wood says that the Adoption picnic receives a significant amount of the funds, “The Adoption picnic is a significant financial commitment and receives about $5000 - $7000 dollars that we spend. We should celebrate the fact that from that, over the course of the years, we have upwards of 15 kids that have been adopted into permanent homes. We run it biannually. It’s designed to bring those eligible for adoption together with those seeking to adopt. It brings a fun opportunity to interact with the each other and get to know each other and hopefully build a foundation towards the possibility that they will continue forward to adopt one or more of those children.”

Dunn relates a story from an Adoption picnic that happened a couple of years ago, “There was a 9-year old boy standing there next to the table and fixing his hair. A Rotary member asked him how he was doing and he said, ‘I’m trying to look adoptable.’ I’ll tell you what, I told my wife, if we were any younger, we’d have come home with 2 of those kids. It’s a tear-jerker.”

Woods spoke about how all of the money raised at the gun show is used by Rotary, “Every dollar that we raise goes to the community in some way. We don’t use any of the money for club operations. The way this club is financially operated is from member dues, so every dollar we raise in the community goes back to the community.”

Ballinger Rotary would like to thank last year’s sponsors: 3D Crane Service; Bagwell Oil Co.; Ballinger Auto Tech; Ballinger Feed/Seed; Ballinger Home Health & Hospice; Ballinger Printing; Ben Clayton Law Office; Big Country Realty; Buddy’s Plant Plus; Catch Pen; City Eye Care; Curiosities; DLC Realty; Executive Inn; First Community Federal Credit Union; First National Bank; Frost Insurance; Higginbotham Bros; Hwy 67 Gin Co, Inc.; J&T Hardware; Keystone Bank; Langer Funeral Home; Lone Star Market; Los Arroyos Gun Club; Lowake Steak House; Maestro’s; Owen’s Processing; Paske Tire & Lube; Pioneer Vet Clinic; Raymond James - Steve Smith; Raymond James - Jim Woodruff; Rowena Pellet Mill; Shopping Basket/Ace Hardware; Sklenarik’s Smoked Meats; Sonnenberg Tax Services; T.P. Harrell Plants & Produce; Talented Friends Boutique and Gifts; Texas Farm Bureau - Runnels County; Texas Pallets; TLC Business Solutions; Toliver Cheverolet; Will Byler Dozer Service, LLC; Willingham Insurance Agency; Winters Dozer Service.

This year the gun show will be held at the Ballinger Community Center on October 3rd and 4th. The hours for Saturday are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m until 4 p.m. Admission tickets are $5 each. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 6 for $20. The raffle items have traditionally been an AR firearm, game camera and a Yeti cooler.

Sponsorships cost $150. Sponsors get their name put on the Gun Show banner and can hang their own banner inside the show. They also receive 4 admission tickets.

Due to the COVID-19 virus, face masks will be required to enter the show. Also due to the virus, the meal this year will be served in a to-go box.

You can contact Karl Vancil at 325-365-1532 or contact the organizers through the gun show Facebook page.