Kelly assumes the position after the passing of Deborah Greenstein in December 2020. Greenstein had founded the Red Hills GRITS Chapter in 2018. She started it while serving as Editor of Shotgun Life, the first online magazine dedicated to the best in wing and clays shooting that she co-founded with her husband, Irwin, in 2008. Under Greenstein’s advocacy for women wing and clays shooters, Shotgun Life became the first publication in the segment with a section devoted to women, and remains so today.
The Red Hills GRITS Chapter is based in Thomasville, Georgia, which is the bobwhite quail-hunting capital of America. The Red Hills covers the preserved quail habitat region from North Florida to Southwest Georgia – encompassing the largest concentration of private quail plantations and quail-hunting preserves in the country.
“I want to honor and build on Deborah’s role in organizing the first women’s wing and clays group in the Red Hills,” Kelly said. “She brought her energy and commitment to women shotgun enthusiasts of all levels to our community and I am dedicated to continuing her work here and maintaining our upland lifestyle as shaped by the generations of strong women who came before us in the Red Hills.”
Started in 2008, the GRITS (Girls Really Into Shooting) was founded in Virginia by Elizabeth Lanier, an NSCA Level III shotgun instructor and proponent of women in the shotgun sports. Its mission continues to be introducing and supporting women through recreational events in the U.S. and abroad. She is now co-owner with her husband Will Fennell of the Fennell Shooting School in Sharon, South Carolina, and the lead instructor at the Kiawah Island Gun Club in Johns Island, South Carolina. The GRITS currently has 16 local chapters.
Under Kelly’s leadership, the Red Hills GRITS will receive support from the Ranges at Oakfield and Shotgun Life.
The Ranges at Oakfield is located in Thomas County, Georgia. Established in 2020, the facility offers clays shooters skeet, trap and five-stand along with state-of-the-art rifle and pistol ranges. It was developed with assistance from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, and is managed and operated by Thomas County. The Ranges at Oakfield will serve as the home of the Red Hills GRITS at 245 County Farm Road, Thomasville, Georgia.
Shotgun Life, also based in Thomasville, will help supply outreach, logistical and instructional assistance to the chapter.
The kick-off party for the relaunched Red Hill GRITS is scheduled late April 2021.