Article by Rebecca Band
Dunnigan photos by Eric Wolfe
Hilmar photos by John Storey
About 300 union members, friends and family came out to the 2014 NorCal IBEW Clay Shoots for a fun-filled day of clays, camaraderie, barbecue and beans. All proceeds after expenses — which amounted to upwards of $20,000 — will be donated to local Boys and Girls Clubs of California.
The annual NorCal IBEW Clay Shoot is only in its third year, but has grown so popular that this year the event expanded to two locations: the original location at Raahuagee’s Pheasant, Chucker & Sporting Clays in Dunnigan, and Rooster Ranch Wings & Clays in Hilmar. The Clay Shoots attracted members from IBEW Locals 1245, 684, 595, 340, 332, 302, and 180, as well as Sprinklers Local 483, Plumbers Local 447, UA Local 393, Insulators Local 16, and numerous contractors.
For Sal Culcasi, a 27-year IBEW 1245 member from PG&E, it was a welcome opportunity to spend time with his co-workers outside of work.
“We had some guys from Dispatch come out [to the shoot] last year… they did pretty well shooting and one of them won a gun [in the raffle], so we put a team together from Dispatch and came on down,” said Culcasi. “The best part was watching this rookie [fellow dispatcher Anthony Chan] hit over 50 [out of 100 targets] on his very first time out. We’re coming back next year for sure.”
The Clay Shoots were definitely a family affair that mixed together union members, friends and their families, including a good number of young shooters.
IBEW 1245 member Lou Carpio brought along his son, his brother-in-law and his nephew.
“I read about last year’s clay shoot [in the union newspaper] and spoke to quite a few people who went and had just a wonderful time, so I knew I couldn’t miss it,” Carpio said. “Really great camaraderie, spending time with family, friends, co-workers, tradesmen… it’s just a great event all around for everyone.”
PG&E Lineman Eric Wright has come to the clay shoot for the past few years, and this year, he brought along some of his fellow linemen to enjoy the day with him in Dunnigan.
“It’s always fun, it’s always a good time, and it’s great because it’s for charity,” said Wright. “The best part was being out here with my buddies from work; some of them are here shooting for the first time. We hit some targets, ate some food and had a great time.”
Overseeing the event in Dunnigan was IBEW 180 Business Manager Dan Broadwater. The event in Hilmar was directed by IBEW 1245 Senior Assistant Business Manager Ron Cochran.
The IBEW Clay Shoot isn’t a competition; it’s just for fun. Participants keep their own scores, there aren’t any trophies. The only competition is to see who can have the most fun so that everyone walks away a winner.
The Clay Shoots concluded with a tasty cookout and firearms raffle. Dozens of participants, both north and south, walked away with great raffle prizes, mostly new shotguns and rifles.
Teams are a mix of members, family, and friends from various IBEW 1245-represented employers. Photo captions try to give a general idea which employer some of the team members are affiliated with.