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Nonprofits

Shooting for a Cause With Golden Chick CEO Mark Parmerlee

Shooting Clays Invitational has raised $7 million to help underserved families access Boy Scouts.
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Golden Chick CEO Mark Parmerlee (third from left) with Shooting Clays Invitational participants. Courtesy: Mark Parmerlee

Mark Parmerlee has been involved with Boy Scouts since he was a Webelo. His father was an Eagle Scout, and his boys have been involved with scouting as well. The organization has held a special place in his heart, but he knows it isn’t accessible to all families. For nearly three decades, the Golden Chick president and chairman has organized and led the Sporting Clays Invitational, an annual charity shooting event that attracts big names to help everyone enjoy scouting.

Co-founded with Oak Stream Investments Director Jack Furst, the event attracts 30 to 40 teams of four who shoot clay pigeons and raise money for ScoutReach, which funds Boy Scout camp scholarships, uniforms, and transportation to scouting events in under-resourced urban and rural communities.

ScoutReach was founded by Ross Perot and led by Trevor Rees-Jones over the years. “Because of time or money, it becomes a hard choice for families to have sons or daughters in scouting,” Parmerlee says. They use that money for camp scholarships, uniforms, and transportation.”

His role began when he was nominated to sit on the board of the Circle Ten Council, a group dedicated to promoting Boy Scouts in the region. That role led to a connection to Furst, who suggested a clay pigeon shooting event to raise money for underserved areas to connect with scouting. “I enjoy doing it, and it’s a good cause,’ he says. “It’s easy for some people to write a check, but when it comes to writing checks and spending time, it’s a different level of commitment.”

Former Cowboy greats Jay Novacek and Drew Pearson and other big names have participated over the years, and the event has raised about $7 million for the cause. In addition to the shooting competition, it includes entertainment and a silent and live auction. “Every year, as we get to the end of our shooting day, I say, ‘Sure, we’re in for next year,’” Parmerlee says. “Scouts is the gang we want our kids to be in.”

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Will Maddox

Will Maddox

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Will is the senior writer for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…

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