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Archery fest soars to new record
Fundraiser helps ailing club member
Archery WEB 1
Gracie Alexander shoots at a target Saturday during the Heart for Hunter 2011 Archery Festival at Ducktown Park. - photo by Autumn Vetter

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The Forsyth County Archery Club’s annual charity shoot drew the biggest turnout in its four-year history Saturday.

Coach Mike Johnson figured the crowd was two or three times larger than the previous year at the club’s Ducktown Park base.

Johnson said he most enjoys seeing the smiles on children’s faces as he teaches them how to shoot.

The smile he couldn’t see during the festival is one he’s seen many times — that of 12-year-old Hunter Williams.

Williams, a two-year member of the club, missed the festival while he continues to recover from a heart transplant in September.

“I have never met a boy in 51 years like Hunter,” Johnson said. “He’s always smiling.”

Williams was the beneficiary of this year’s event, with the funds raised going toward the post-operation medications he needs.

Daniel Tomak said he appreciated that this year’s shoot helped a friend.

He spent the day practicing at the many archery stations, including his favorite 3-D figures.

There were also targets for candy or other prizes, short-range flu-flu arrows and a pumpkin shoot.

Second-time shooter Megan Alexander, 10, was most excited to try for a pumpkin, but she started out on the beginner range to get a quick lesson.

“It’s so fun,” Alexander said, “and it teaches me aim.”

Her father, Bill, watched as his two daughters took a shot at a sport he used to enjoy as a child.

The Alexanders aren’t club members, but the family saw it as a way to enjoy the day.

“I just wanted to spend the afternoon with them,” said Bill Alexander as they moved down the line of targets.