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KNOXVILLE - A Kingston gun shop that planned to host a bobble-head shooting day based on ex-Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's abrupt departure last year, has changed up Saturday's fundraiser.
Instead of shooting bobbleheads of Kiffin and his father, University of Southern California defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, Frontier Firearms on Gallagher Road plans to adopt them out.
"For a $5 donation, bobble-head lovers may take home their very own Monte or Lane Kiffin bobble-head doll to love and nurture as they see fit," shop owner Brant Williams said this afternoon.
"In addition, each $5 donator will be entered in a drawing for a one-year range membership, handgun classes, other prizes, and unless tree huggers protest too loudly the opportunity to shoot at paper targets.
"While we believe our choice of targets has no bearing on evil and would be unrelated to past, present, or future criminal acts, we concede that shooting bobbleheads is in poor taste - especially in light of the tragic shooting in Tucson. Sometimes what sounds like fun or a good idea just isn't and as we have said all along, no one wishes harm to Coach Kiffin."
The fundraiser, a year after Kiffin's bitter departure, comes just one week following the fatal shootings in Arizona that left a congresswoman seriously injured and a federal judge among others dead.
Second Harvest Food Bank was slated to get the proceeds but pulled out after getting some negative reaction from the local community.
Food bank director Elaine Streno she said she received dozens of calls and e-mails, many of them she described as vicious and hateful.
"The one organized movement from the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church was kind and asked me to reconsider," she said. "It was difficult because we agreed to do the event a month ago, unfortunately the tragic event in Arizona came about.
"I made the decision mainly because this is the community food bank and in my 17 years as director I've never had any one person call me and ask me not to do an event. So when you get a parade of probably 30 e-mails and calls you have to reconsider because Second Harvest is here because of the community. But the decision was still a difficult one.
"The people doing this event were just trying to make a bad thing into a good thing. Of course the timing was terrible."
To make up for lost money Streno said that some church members have agreed to help raise the dollars the charity would have received.
About 600 bobbleheads are available for adoption from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Williams said this afternoon.
Donations from bobble-head adoptions will go to an anonymous charity, Williams said.
More details as they develop online and in Saturday's News Sentinel.