Play 4Kay, Clays 4Kay – The Story Behind the Pink Clays

Francis-and-family copy

Ed Strickland in a family photo with his wife Frances and their two adult sons. Two of the most important women in Ed’s life are breast cancer survivors, both his wife Frances and his mother — witnessing their resolve and strength was Ed’s inspiration for Clays 4Kay.

In 2013, my wife Frances was diagnosed with breast cancer. We are blessed to announce that to date, she is a two-year survivor.

About the same time, her mother, sister and brother were also diagnosed with various forms of cancer. None of us have to look far to find someone we know who has been affected by cancer.

During this period of great struggle, I was introduced to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and saw in the staff, people who embody the very vision of Coach Yow in fighting all women’s cancers.

Anyone who grew up in the Raleigh, North Carolina area knew who Kay Yow was. I actually had the privilege of meeting her and found out she was not only an excellent NC State basketball coach, but also a courageous fighter and a passionate, and compassionate visionary. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund staff has a passion that is contagious and you do not have to be around them long before you too want to join the fight.

So, last October, for the entire month, we threw pink targets at Deep River in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.  Bill and Mary Kempffer, owners of Deep River Sporting Clays, donated money raised to the Fund, and from that, the Clays 4Kay idea was born. When asked why Deep River is hosting the event, my first thought was because it is the right thing to do. Thinking about it a little more, I would also say it is a good fit and even, it is meant to be.

Sue and Deep River

Ed Strickland, Sue Donohoe and Bill Kempffer smile for the camera as a check is presented from the first Clays 4Kay event in October 2014.

Part of Coach Yow’s vision was to bring people together for a common cause, a challenge that to me, means ‘get off the bench and get in the game’ to fight cancer.

Rise to the challenge and do something.  Pink targets, pink shotgun shells and a mobile mammography unit (with Coach Yow’s image on the side) at a shooting range, is  a creative way to raise funds and awareness.

We are proud and honored to invite folks who enjoy shooting sports to join us for Clays 4Kay to support research for all women’s cancers.

This will be our first Clays 4Kay event, but not our last. My prayer and goal is for this event to become one of the biggest events we hold at Deep River Sporting Clays each year. Based on the success we are seeing thus far, we are well on our way.

Bill & Mary DR

Mary and Bill Kempffer, owners of Deep River Sporting Clays and Shooting School.

“We are excited to be involved in the important work of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and look forward to Clays 4Kay growing larger each year.”  – Mary and Bill Kempffer, owners of Deep River Sporting Clays and Shooting School.

Ed Strickland is an instructor at Deep River Sporting Clays & Shooting School and has been the driving force behind Clays 4Kay. 

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