In September, Jason Aldean, country singer and current member of the Buck Commanders, attended a long range shooting day hosted by Sporting Group brands Federal Premium, Weaver Scopes and Tactical Rings and newly acquired Savage Rifles. Jason made a stop during a recent concert tour to Ridgefield, Washington to visit the home of Team Savage, World and National Champions at Douglas Ridge Rifle Club in Estacada, Oregon. The day’s shooting events were filmed for a future episode of Buck Commander.
Savage Arms, recently acquired by ATK, donated $25,000 to the fundraising campaign for Fleming College’s Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. “We believe supporting the Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre will help with the Peterborough area’s demand for highly-skilled workers, which in turn, will strengthen our local economy and help improve everyone’s quality of life,” says Terry McCullough, vice president and general manager of Savage Arms. For more information click here.
Earlier this year, the state of Montana held its first ever “Conquer Chiari Walk Across America.” This is a national 5K walk that supports education and research into Chiari, a condition where the brain protrudes from the skull and into the spinal cord. Ian Autry, Senior Technician at BLACKHAWK! in Manhattan, Montana organized the local event in memory of his son Bryce. Bryce passed away last year due to undiagnosed Chiari. Fellow BLACKHAWK! employees joined the walk, and BLACKHAWK! helped sponsor the event.
The day of the event, 60 walkers were greeted with perfect weather conditions in Bozeman, Montana. A little over $2,300 was raised locally and several people stopped to learn about Chiari from the walkers.
Last year, the event was held at 53 different locations, involved more than 8,500 participants and raised over $530,000. This year, the walk has grown to 61 sites and several “Walk Anywhere” sites. The “Walk Anywhere” sites are for those who cannot reach a local site. One “Walk Anywhere” site was at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq with over 50 walkers!
Chiari affects over 300,000 people in the U.S. It affects both the young and old, and can cause unbearable headaches, nerve damage, paralysis, and many other symptoms. In rare cases it can be fatal. Chiari is not well known and there are a lot of unanswered questions about it.
Funds go to the Conquer Chiari Research Center at the University of Akron. To date, they have funded over $1.4 million in research. Further information is available at conquerchiari.org. Next year’s walk will be held across the country on September 20, 2014.
After the event, Ian remarked, “I am honored to work with such a great group of people at BLACKHAWK! who not only make great products but treat their employees great. BLACKHAWK! has supported my family the last year and half through the loss of our son and through their support of the Chiari Walk. I am glad that I made the decision three and a half years ago to join the BLACKHAWK! family.”
Thanks to the generosity of Missile Products employees in Ronkonkoma, New York, ATK donated more than 230 pounds of nonperishable food and other items to Long Island Cares, Inc. – Harry Chapin Food Bank. Founded in 1980 by the late singer/activist Harry Chapin in response to the growing issue of hunger on Long Island, the community-based organization works with other charitable agencies to fight hunger in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York. Each year, Long Island Cares distributes more than six million pounds of food to over 580 food locations.
ATK Missile Products division New River Energetics (NRE) in Radford, Virginia, provided scholarships for five young women to attend Radford University’s Summer Bridge 2013 program.Summer Bridge is a week-long residential experience in the College of Science and Technology for high school girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
The program offers classroom lessons, laboratory experiments, and field trips designed to encourage the girls’ consideration of a career in a STEM field. Participants choose from learning tracks in Space Exploration, Environmental Science, Forensic Science, or Biology and Chemistry.
Summer Bridge program leadership invited ATK’s Karen Davies, Defense Group Vice President of Business Operations and Technology, to speak to the girls about her experiences working in a STEM field.
Karen encouraged the girls to set high expectations for themselves and to believe in their ability to achieve those expectations.
Several Utah ATK employees and family members attended the United Way of Salt Lake Day of Caring Kickoff Breakfast at the Gateway in Salt Lake City. This year’s ATK Day of Caring projects include a carnival at The Children’s Center in Kearns, activities at the Pioneer Adult Rehabilitation Center in Clearfield, renovations at the new Boys and Girls Club facility in Tremonton, maintenance at the Whittier Center in Logan and several outdoor projects at Magna Elementary School in Magna. Day of Caring service projects are a great way to complement our corporate wide United Way campaign. Live United!
On July 17th the National Shooting Sports Foundation launched Hunting Works for Utah. ATK Sporting Group has been an active supporter of the Hunting Works Campaign as it has been launched in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Utah. The campaign is aimed at building a coalition of businesses and organizations that are connected to hunting and the shooting sports, and shedding light on the significant and positive impact hunting and recreational shooting have on the economy. Tourism, hotels, gas stations and retailers all benefit from these past-times. By working together with the firearms and ammunition industry they can be potent advocates for policies that benefit conservation and jobs. Learn more about Hunting Works for Utah.
In seventh grade, ATK mechanical engineer and study manager Joe Pellegrino’s physics teacher inspired him to become a scientist or engineer. Now, he’s trying to return the favor tenfold by working with approximately 400 pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students at St. Thomas More Cathedral School, and helping them build a CubeSat.A CubeSat is a small, four by four by four fully operational satellite that is typically built by graduate students. Pellegrino says that “This idea came to me on April 17, 2012, the day the shuttle flew over D.C. That day, the students lined up in a space shuttle formation and the shuttle flew over us.”Every department of the school is incorporating space into their learning, and every grade has a specific job toward building the satellite, from pre-kindergarten and kindergarteners in charge of outreach to sixth graders building the spacecraft bus, including power and flight computers. Each student also has an individual job title, as well as a younger understudy who will take their place in the next year.
Once launched, the CubeSat will take photos every thirty seconds, and transmit them back to Earth. Pellegrino is currently writing a proposal to get the satellite onto a NASA launch vehicle, otherwise the student built CubeSat will enter space on the ATK Athena IIC launch vehicle in 2015.
Although this project is a large undertaking, and there is no guarantee of success, Pellegrino just hopes to inspire some students, like his seventh grade physics teacher inspired him, “For me, if we get 100 engineers or scientists from this effort, that will be mission success.”
NASA’s website also features a story on Joe and his involvement with St. Thomas More Cathedral School. Read it at: http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/the-kids-are-the-stars/
For more photos view ATK’s Facebook album
Often referred to as the “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” the annual Minnesota State Fair is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. The fair attracts nearly 1.8 million guests annually and is one of the largest and most attended state fairs in the country. The fair’s encompassing attraction is that it offers something for everyone and its mission is to educate and involve guests by providing a world-class showcase that is innovative, entertaining and fun.This year, record, late summer temperatures are heating up the fairgrounds – perfect timing for the ATK Infrared (IR) Imaging interactive display supporting this year’s STEM Day at the State Fair.
In its fourth year, STEM Day (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) features 30 exhibitors who provide families with the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations that show children of all ages how to engage in STEM after school and illustrate how science, technology, engineer and mathematics permeate everyday life.
Fifteen volunteer employees from Armament Systems Division provided children with an understanding of the different wave lengths of light and how infrared imaging technology is used to find hotspots on electronic circuit boards that might cause problems down the line if they go undetected. Children visiting the display also had the opportunity to see how an IR camera “sees” their face, displaying in multiple colors that represent the hot and cool spots on their face.
“This is an opportunity to interact with young kids and excite them about STEM through real applications that apply to them individually,” said ASD’s Mark Gillaspey, “It is also an opportunity to convey to parents the importance of STEM and ATK’s community involvement.”
The event, organized by the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) and the University of Minnesotan and the Minnesota STEM Network, drew more than 1,000 visitors on the Fair’s first day.
Regardless of the number of attendees to the STEM displays, the real impact is generating interest in STEM. “The event allows parents to participate alongside their youth and to see not only their excitement, but their desire to understand the how and why,” added Gillaspey.
August was a busy month for ATK-sponsored skeet and trap shooting events. ATK was the title sponsor for an event with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), where Congressional staff and members of the outdoor community gathered for a day of camaraderie and sport shooting with Federal Premium ammunition. More than 150 people attended the event, which was held at Prince George’s County Trap and Skeet Center in Glenn Dale, Md. ATK also participated as the ammunition partner and sponsor for the Bennie G. Thompson Sporting Clays Challenge held during the annual Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s annual policy conference in Tunica, Miss. More than 200 shooters of all skill levels, including many first-time shooters, attended the event. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) serves as vice chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and Ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives.