The North Carolina youth sports league has been inundated with support nationwide after local ‘bullying’ over a rifle raffle

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A nonprofit organization in North Carolina who faced local backlash for raffling off a gun to raise money for young athletes and cheerleaders was inundated with support nationwide after coverage on Fox News Digital.

“At a time when our world has felt so small, so ungodly, so dark and so lonely, our world has become brighter in the last week,” said Savannah Beddingfield, a mother from the East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League. (EHYFCL) at East Flat. Rock, North Carolina, told Fox News Digital. “Coast to coast, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of support not only for our league, but also for our community.”

As Fox News Digital reported on September 4, EHYFCL refused to back down following attacks from some locals for gifting the winner of their fundraising raffle with an FN 15 Patrol Carbine M-LOK 16″ style rifle. ArmaLite 15 with a suggested retail price of $1,299 Parent-led league soccer players are ages 5-13 and cheer squad members are ages 4-13, according to the organization .

“We started this fundraiser in the hopes that it would raise enough money to buy some new shoulder pads, new padded football pants, which we desperately need, and have enough funds to allow us to continue. ‘reach next season,” says Bedingfield. “What we didn’t expect is for a parent to air their grievances on the local news station instead of having a conversation with us. It’s particularly frustrating. We certainly didn’t expect not making headlines across the country.”


Young athletes with East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League, which was overwhelmed with support from Fox News readers.

The parent who challenged the award choice, believing it was inappropriate for a children’s league, was quoted anonymously in local media, telling ABC affiliate WLOS: “Honestly, I was shocked when i got the message that the kids were going to sell an assault rifle because of what is happening in schools across the country i thought it was very bad taste for them to choose a gun that is used against children.

Beddingfield said early stories about the league draw were filled with “fake headlines, misleading reports and inaccurate information”. She added that some articles “take direct quotes from our page and change our own words to advance their own narrative.” In Fox News Digital’s Sept. 4 article on the backlash, Beddingfield explained that the league’s raffle followed the law and that the rifle on offer wasn’t even an assault rifle by definition.

“Some reports have even added information that puts our children at greater risk than legal raffle ticket sales,” Beddingfield continued. “Our practice locations featured in one article, other articles reported us as schools in our area. We received hate mail, nasty messages, uninformed opinions, pushbacks, and even a local artist has thought it would be cute to draw a comic trying to portray his version of how he thinks this raffle works.”


Support for the East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League children poured in from nearly every state following Fox News Digital's coverage.

Support for the East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League children poured in from nearly every state following Fox News Digital’s coverage.

“All of this pales in comparison to the love and encouragement we’ve seen from across this great nation,” Beddingfield said of the support that overwhelmed the league following Fox News Digital’s coverage. She said support first started pouring in from Texas, and then the story caught the attention of their neighbors in the Carolinas. Before long, donations and kind messages were pouring in from all over the United States. “There aren’t many states that we haven’t had at least one person to contact,” she said.

“We are so grateful for the blessings God has provided us through this ridiculous reaction,” Beddingfield said. “We have far exceeded our goals and now have the ability to extend these blessings to others in need. We have read all messages, transaction notes and emails that have come in to us. Messages of support come to both retired and active military personnel, law enforcement officers, firefighters, other leaders of youth organizations, teachers, lawyers, entrepreneurs and grandparents trying to save our backward society.”

Everyone wants to talk about bullying, but no one wants to oppose it. When someone finally stands up, they are the ones who are punished, not the bully. We’ve all had enough.

— Savannah Beddingfield, a mother with EHYFCL in North Carolina

“They thank us for standing firm, for giving our time to support our future, for loving these children, for praying for them, for teaching them to have a backbone, to stand up for what they believe in. , to protect our constitution rights and not to back down from bullying. Everyone wants to talk about bullying, but no one wants to stand up to it. When someone finally stands up, they are the ones who are punished, not the bully. We’ve all had enough,” Beddingfield continued.


“The truly empowering thing about this whole experience is that the Second Amendment community is full of heart, compassion, safety, protection, love, honor and respect. The opposition has been disrespectful, hateful, intolerant, uninformed and often downright disgusting. Our young children do not behave the way these adults behaved,” she added.


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