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2009 Marion P. Hammer Women Of Distinction Award Winner

NRA honors Donna Vandermolen of Conroe, Texas

The National Rifle Association has selected Donna Vandermolen of Conroe, Texas, to receive the 2009 Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award. This award recognizes exceptional contributions to the preservation of the Second Amendment and the shooting sports through education, advocacy, volunteerism, and legislative activism in support of the goals of the NRA.

Donna's interest in firearms began when she was just a child asking for toy guns for Christmas, and her experience with firearms has come in handy with her tireless volunteerism, teaching, helping, and encouragement of our right to keep and bear arms.

Vandermolen became the first woman Five-Gun Expert with the International Defensive Pistol Association, where she serves as a certified Safety Officer. A NRA Benefactor Member, Donna is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Personal Protection In the Home Instructor and a Range Safety Officer. She has a strong interest in introducing women to the use of firearms and helping them overcome preconceived notions and learning proper safety habits and firearm-handling skills. NRA Women's Programs classes held by Donna are exclusively for women and help take the pressure off participants new to a realm typically regarded as male.

Donna is a fixture at Lone Star College's Second Amendment Academy, which "educates [students and] constituents on Second Amendment freedoms, political and legal issues, to provide information and access to firearm safety and state licensing, including concealed carry licensing and hunter education licensing, and to organize recreational shooting events."

Ed Williams spoke very highly of Donna in nominating her for the award, saying she has "undeniable, demonstrable shooting competency combined with an enthusiastic yet caring and encouraging professionalism. I have met no better role model for people even casually interested in firearms, be they women or men, teenagers or middle-aged."

Every year, fewer than 18% of concealed handgun licenses are issued to women. Mr. Williams said, "I can think of no better cure for that than exposure to Donna Vandermolen," and plenty of her former students would agree.

"I am committed to empowering women to take responsibility for their personal protection, develop their skills in firearms as a tool for defense, and understand that the protection of the Second Amendment is critical for their ability to remain empowered. It is an unbelievable honor to be recognized by the NRA for doing something I so enjoy and believe in," said Donna upon receiving the award.

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