Thursday, April 2, 2009

Paralyzed Hunter's Video Wins Grand Prize for Friend in Weatherby Contest

PASO ROBLES, California: A hunting buddy helped make Frank McDonald of Ligonier, Indiana, the grand prize winner of the "Why I Want a Weatherby®" Video Contest. Weatherby formally announced all contest prize winners April 1 and posted their videos on the company website.

Garnering the most votes from Weatherby Nation members, the grand prize video shows Dale Hagberg, who is paralyzed, talking from his bed in Ligonier about why he wants a Weatherby rifle for his friend Frank. Hagberg and McDonald hunted together until 1987 when Hagberg was paralyzed in a diving accident.

Hagberg submitted the video, nominating McDonald as the prize recipient. As the grand prize winner, McDonald receives an expense-paid trip to Weatherby headquarters in Paso Robles, California, as well as a hand-selected custom Weatherby rifle. He will tour the facility and meet with company President Ed Weatherby. McDonald will also have the opportunity to personally work with the Weatherby Custom Shop to design his rifle.

"I never dreamed we would really win when I entered but I'm sure glad we did," Hagberg said. "Frank has been such a good friend....This could never repay him for everything he's done, but at least it shows him how I feel. Thank you, Weatherby, for helping me give Frank a once-in-a-lifetime experience and thanks to all the people who voted for us. We couldn't have done it without them." Hagberg noted that since he can't go afield anymore, he especially enjoys McDonald's hunting stories and videos.

"I'm a lucky man only because I have a friend like Dale," McDonald commented. "Now he's made me the winner of a once-in-a-lifetime prize. When he told me about this contest back in August, I thought it would be cool to win, not thinking of the grand prize, but just a prize. As things got going and the voting started, we started hearing from people all over the country in states like Missouri, Arizona and Florida and from so many local people as well. So I would just like to thank Weatherby and all the voters from everywhere. A special thank you to Dale."

The contest began in August 2008. Entrants submitted videos of two minutes or less that demonstrated why they wanted a Weatherby gun. Contest entries were posted on Weatherby Nation, the company's online community for hunters and shooters. Weatherby Nation members voted to determine the winners. Voting ended February 15. More than 68,000 votes were cast. With 6,592 votes, Hagberg's video topped the field of 66 finalists.

"Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to those who entered or voted," said Brad Ruddell, vice president of marketing and sales for Weatherby. "The creativity in a number of the finalist videos was very impressive and reflected a great amount of time, thought and effort. It was quite moving to see onetime hunting buddies and long-time friends win the grand prize. Weatherby is honored that Dale saw our contest as a meaningful opportunity to express appreciation for his bond of friendship with Frank."

Fifteen other contest entrants received Weatherby firearms as prizes:

* Andrew Dwyer, Lincoln, Neb. first prize of a Mark V® Deluxe or Accumark® rifle
* Tommy Kujawa, Greendale, Wis.; and Dusty Compton, Dodd City, Texas second prizes of a Vanguard® Deluxe or Vanguard SUB-MOA rifle
* Dana Wheeless, Brownwood, Texas; John Hamrick, Columbus, Ohio; and Shane Ary, Linden, Tenn. third prizes of Weatherby SA-08 Upland shotguns
* Adam Hamrick, Grove City, Ohio; Tammy Austin, Stillwater, Okla.; Graham Smith, Bloomington, Ind.; Isaac Martin, Telford, Pa. fourth prizes of Vanguard Synthetic rifle packages including rifle, scope, sling and case
* Manuel Lara, Miami, Fla.; Ernest Hedrick, Collegeville, Pa.; Abel Avila, Albuquerque, N.M.; Virginia Faulkner, Minot, N.D.; Matt Ryan, Citrus Heights, Calif. fifth prizes of Vanguard Synthetic rifles

The other finalists received Weatherby Nation prize packs.

Founded in 1945, Weatherby, Inc.'s 2009 line features the popular Vanguard® and legendary Mark V® rifles, over/under and side-by-side shotguns in the classic Athena® and Orion® lines, semi-auto and pump shotguns, premium ammunition and security/shooting accessories. The company is based in Paso Robles and invites all hunters and shooters to visit and join its online community at

Press Release found at The Outdoor Wire

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