It all came down to one missed target, but in the end Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire got revenge on his Rosemount counterpart Thursday evening at a charity shooting competition at West End Hunting and Fishing Club in Eagan.
The annual charity event, hosted by the gun club, has raised more than $100,000 in six years for the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
The event includes an organized trap shoot, silent auction, live auction, dinner and drinks. But one of the highlights of the fundraiser each year is an ongoing border battle staged between the Eagan and Rosemount elected officials and city staff.
This year, Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire, Eagan Police Chief Jim McDonald and several other council members and city staff took on the Rosemount team, led by Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste, Rosemount City Councilor Kim Shoe-Corrigan and others.
At stake was a traveling trophy that Rosemount took for the first time last year after four years of Eagan ownership—and, of course, a bit of mayoral pride.
"The team with the most point wins the traveling border trophy and gets to display it," Eagan City Administrator Tom Hedges explained. "But the other part of it is the mayor that loses needs to go before the other city council and be there when the trophy is presented."
Led by marksman and Eagan City Councilor Paul Bakken, who hit 22 of his 25 targets, Eagan beat Rosemount 62-61, reclaiming the trophy until the next trap shoot fundraiser in 2013.
The Boy Scouts fundraiser is one of several ways that the West End gun club—which is celebrating its 50th anniversary at its location in Eagan this year—gives back to the community.
The club also hosts firearm safety classes and is the home of a high school shooting league for local students, according to gun club representative Bob Hosch.
Hosch, a longtime gun club member, said the organization had roughly 100 members when it moved to a location off Hwy. 3 in Eagan in 1962. Now, West End has roughly 400 members and teaches firearm safety to as many as 120 students each year.
Trap shooting, Hosch said, is an easily-accessible lifelong sport with a strong social element.
"I’ve been going out [to West End Hunting and Fishing Club] virtually every Wednesday evening for the last 50 years for 20 weeks of the summer," Hosch said. "You’ve got your buddies and it becomes a tradition. You have a cigar and a beer and solve all the world’s problems."