DSC is proud to announce the winner of the Peter Hathaway Capstick Hunting Heritage Award – Larry and Brenda Potterfield – during the recent DSC Convention and Expo in Dallas, Texas. The couple is recognized for their enduring leadership in conservation and philanthropy, and their commitment to educating youth about the joys of the outdoors, hunting, shooting and wildlife.
“Larry and Brenda have demonstrated an enduring passion to help others and pass along the tradition of hunting and shooting,” said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter. “They are consummate leaders in business and epitomize the principle of ‘paying it forward.’ Their generosity and benevolence will help sustain hunting and shooting for future generations.”
Fiona Clare Capstick, noted author and widow of Peter Hathaway Capstick, presented the award on stage to the Potterfields. The Capstick Award was established to bring honor and recognition to an individual, organization or group whose achievements reveal a sustained and significant contribution to the conservation of wildlife and its habitat. Additionally, the winner will have shown long-term commitment to our hunting heritage by pursuing that goal for the benefit of future generations.
“Brenda and I are honored to accept the 2017 Peter Hathaway Capstick Hunting Heritage Award from Dallas Safari Club,” said Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA. “We passionately believe in and support the conservation of wildlife and its habitat for the benefit of future generations, and we look forward to continuing a lifelong commitment to our hunting heritage.”
Larry Potterfield is the founder and CEO of MidwayUSA. Working together, Larry and Brenda grew their business from a small-time gun shop in Missouri to one of the most successful retailers of hunting equipment, accessories, gunsmithing, reloading, shooting, and outdoor products. Much of MidwayUSA’s success is due to their commitment to making customer service their number one priority and providing a positive work environment.
The success of MidwayUSA has given the Potterfields the ability to give back to an industry and community that has brought them much joy over their lifetimes. Over the years, the Potterfields have provided millions of dollars in donations and endowments for sustained funding. In 2007, the Potterfields established MidwayUSA Foundation to provide sustainable funding for youth shooting sports teams across the nation. Since its inception, MidwayUSA Foundation has granted funds of $12.6 million to more than 2,500 different shooting teams.
Since 2008, the Potterfield family has made over $133 million in charitable contributions; meeting the benchmark IRS 50 percent maximum contribution level since 2011. In 2012, they started the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience, which held a student conference at the recent DSC Convention and Expo. Guest speaker Shane Mahoney – a noted conservationist – spoke with the students on the positives of developing a love for wildlife and how the future of wildlife starts with this generation.
The Potterfields have hunted on six continents and are avid conservationists. Their generosity is also reflected in funds donated to key conservation groups such as Wild Sheep Foundation, Houston Safari Club, Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and DSC. These funds are used worldwide in an effort to protect wildlife and habitat.
As ardent hunters and shooters, the Potterfields are faithful donators to the National Rifle Association (NRA). In 1992, the couple donated $500,000 to the NRA Foundation. This initial donation has led other Friends of the NRA Committees to help raise more than $600 million for the NRA Foundation. Larry and Brenda have been recognized for their efforts with a membership to the exclusive NRA Golden Ring of Freedom, a group comprised of people who have donated more than $1 million to the NRA.
“Larry and Brenda truly care about conservation, our youth and the future of hunting,” said Carter. “The Peter Hathaway Capstick Hunting Heritage Award honors the memory of a man who loved hunting and understood our role in preserving wildlife. Larry and Brenda have certainly demonstrated the same and are well deserving of this honor and recognition.”