For nearly 50 years, Dick Christian has helped anglers, archers, hunters and shooters in the Wichita area.
From long-gone David’s Sporting Goods departments to a variety of businesses he owned, he was known for selling quality outdoors goods backed by good customer service. He was probably best known for his Dick’s Custom Archery and Anglers, which he owned and operated in east Wichita from 1994-2006.
He currently owns Lynbrook Sporting Clays near Augusta.
Christian’s businesses were also the training grounds for many young workers who have become national-class shooters. Several of his early proteges now manage sporting goods stores on their own in the area.
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Nick Jayne, one of Christian’s such past employees, is hoping some of those who benefited from Christian’s years in the business will help raise some funds for the 66-year-old’s recovery from a fall in his home in early April.
Nancy Christian, his wife, said the fall left him with brain and spinal damage that has had him partially paralyzed.
“He is getting better and is walking with a walker,” Nancy Christian said. “They think he’ll recover but it’s going to be a long road.”
Jayne said because of limited insurance coverage, it’s also going to be an expensive road.
On June 22, he’s hoping for more than 150 archers to attend a 3-D benefit shoot for Christian at the Wichita Archers range at 3799 E. 71st Street South. As well as a chance to shoot 40 life-like animal targets, archers can compete for prizes through special shooting contests and raffles. Jayne said the odds are good because prizes appear to be plenty.
“You can definitely tell Dick was very, very well respected with all the companies he’s dealt with because of the prizes they’ve donated,” said Jayne, who manages an archery department in El Dorado. “About everybody I’ve contacted has really stepped up.”
Jayne estimates the value of the average prize at about $125. The list of prizes includes new top-line bows, hunting and archery gear and outdoors truck accessories. A local meat processor is donating meats for lunches that will be sold at the shoot. Jayne said non-shooters are invited to attend and participate in the raffles, eat and visit with the Christian family. If he’s well enough, Nancy Christian said her husband will be at the shoot. Jayne said he’d enjoy seeing the entire family together again.
“They’ve always been kind of like family to me and a whole lot of other people. They’ve probably done the most to get archery as big as it is Wichita today,” Jayne said. “I’m hoping a lot of people will come out and show their appreciation.”
Registration and shooting starts at about 8 a.m. For more information or to make donations, contact Jayne at 316-641-6597.