Happy Trails

Ray "Crash" Corrigan Rig Happy Trails Children's Foundation Sheriff Jim Wilson

The Happy Trails Children’s Foundation was set up by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans to help and support children-at-risk. It is the only children’s charity that I know of that actively supports the shooting sports. And, for the last 16 years, they have made a good deal of their operating by an annual raffle of guns. And not just any guns, I can tell you that!

The theme of the Happy Trails gun raffle has always been to honor the movie cowboys that we all loved to cheer at the Saturday movies. In past years the foundation has offered virtually exact duplicates of the guns and rigs worn by Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tex Ritter, Eddie Dean, and a host of others. Many months of research go in to studying the exact rig worn by a particular western star and the guns that he carried. For example, Roy Rogers used three different double-gun rigs and Happy Trails has reproduced all of them.

The Happy Trails guns and gun belt for 2013 honor Ray “Crash” Corrigan (1902-1976). Corrigan started out as a movie stunt man before landing roles in various motion pictures. He hit his stride when he was cast in a leading role in The Three Mesquiteers series of westerns. Some years later, Corrigan formed his own production company and produced quite a number of movies, again with a trio of cowboy heroes called The Range Busters. In addition, Corrigan bought some ranch property in the Santa Susana Mountains and opened his own western town where numerous western movies were filmed.

Colt Firearms has donated two 5 1/2-inch Colt Peacemakers that have been plated, engraved, and stocked with ivory. The double-gun rig is brown with black trim and lots of silver. Guns and holsters have been built by some of the best craftsmen working in this country today.

Raffle tickets the Silver Screen Legend XVI, the Corrigan rig, are $10 each, or 11 for $100. All of the proceeds (100%) from the raffle go to the Happy Trails Children’s Foundation. If you are at SHOT Show this next week you can go by the Colt booth, examine the guns and rig, and buy your tickets right there. If not, you can do the same thing online at www.happytrails.org. If you need further information, call the Happy Trails Children’s Foundation at 760-240-3330.

I think it is just great that Roy Rogers & Dale Evans left a lasting legacy that will benefit children who are at risk. It is also great that a children’s charity supports the shooting sports and raffles off guns as a fund raiser. Helping Roy & Dale’s kids and owning a one-of-a-kind Silver Screen Legend outfit is pretty special, too. I just suspect that there are enough of you Front Row Kids out there, just like me, who will show your appreciation to the Happy Trails Children’s Foundation.

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