2013 Blessing of the Bows to be held next week

IDLEWILD — In anticipation of the upcoming bow hunting season and in an effort to teach children how to properly handle a bow, the 2013 Blessing of the Bows will take place next week in Idlewild.

The family-friendly event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 17 at God’s True Vine, located at 5889 S. Nelson Road in Idlewild. The event will feature free food, vendors, competitions, music, a raffle, children’s games, safety instructions and more.

The event is organized by the Men of Purpose ministry and is one of several community-orientated events sponsored by the group.

Bear McLeod is a member of the Men of Purpose and is a co-organizer of the event. He started the event in Battle Creek but brought it up to Idlewild when he moved to Lake County. The Blessing of the Bows is meant to celebrate bow hunting, archery, bow safety and fellowship.

“(Blessing of the Bows) is trying to bring the community together, the families together to show that we can have fun at church as well,” McLeod said.

“It’s to bring the community together and teach the children that want to learn to shoot to shoot properly as well as the safety. There is a lot of safety involved in it and to teach a youngster that, it gets passed on to their generation and so on.”

Certified archery instructor Clay Cooper will be on site to teach proper archery safety and technique. Throughout the day, shooting competitions for different age groups will be held, and a woman’s competition also will be held. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of the competitions.

Around noon, a free luncheon will be served and a blessing will be offered over the food and to bow hunters for a safe hunting season.

The event also will feature archery demonstrations and a raffle, which benefits the event and Men of Purpose.

Vendors selling outdoor equipment also will be on site, and entertainment will be available for children too young to participate in shooting.

Registration will take place the day of the event. However, organizers ask that a parent or guardian be present to register their child.

For more information, to volunteer or to donate to the event, contact McLeod at (231) 349-1404 or Ron Zerfas at (616) 291-8751.