The St. Helens Girls Softball league recently sold out of tickets for its fundraiser raffle. That's 330 tickets for $10 each or six tickets for $50. The prize? An AR-15 assault rifle.
The decision to raffle off the firearm to support a league that features girls ages 8 to 16 has some parents and players upset.
In a letter submitted to The Chronicle, St. Helens resident Rick Frank said, "After assault weapons were used to kill innocent children in Newtown and Colorado, a Girls Softball Association chooses to bring one more such weapon into our community? Extremely poor decision. What will those responsible do if that weapon is used to kill more innocent people? Shame on them. Assault weapons have no place in youth sports."
The decision isn't without its supporters though. Dozens of people have left comments on the league's Facebook page with words of encouragement and offers to buy tickets for any further firearm raffles.
A community meeting has been scheduled for March 21 at the Columbia City Community Hall to discuss the issue. Board members for the softball league have said they will not present. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.
The league board will also discuss the raffle at its next board meeting on March 28 at the Best Western in St. Helens. That meeting also begins at 6:30 p.m.