Missouri Guard adds to Bucks for Books

A.G. Paul, president of the Sound of Freedom USA Indoor Gun Range, presents a check for $488
to Patty Hamilton, representing Ozark's Reading Around the Square. Top shooters in the Bucks
for Books Shootout, sponsored by the Missouri National Guard, flank Paul and Hamilton. Sgt. 1st
Class Douglas McCall worked the event for the Guard."

By Ann Keyes

OZARK, Mo. - The Missouri National Guard added some $500 - and 500 books - to Ozark school children by way of Bucks for Books Shootout, said Sgt. 1st Class Douglas McCall, Ozark recruiter for the Guard.

The shooting event, held at Sound of Freedom USA Indoor Gun Range, was sponsored by the Missouri Guard, and was held in conjunction with Reading Around the Square, an annual event in its third year in Ozark.

Reading Around the Square was launched by Patty Hamilton, who said she was inspired to get books to kids not only in school but at home, so she started the community-based program to do just that. This year's event included a pancake breakfast and a Bookin' It 5-kilometer run.

In total, Reading Around the Square brought in $740, which adds up to 740 books for kids via a book deal with a publishing company.

"This is the first time we've had the facilities to do anything like this," said the Guard's McCall of partnering with the gun range. "The shootout was very successful and this is a worthy cause."

The theme of the 2010 Reading Around the Square, held on September 11, was Reading is Patriotic, fitting with National Guard participation. Community support added to the event's success, as teachers, community leaders, Missouri State University basketball players and the Ozark Fire Protection District helped where help was needed.

When it was all said and done, each elementary-age school kid in Ozark got their book - and for McCall, he couldn't have been happier to participate.

"It was very fun - a lot of work but definitely worth it," McCall said. "I'm looking forward to doing it again next year."

For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please call 1-888-GoGuard or visit www.moguard.com.

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