CCDL Looks to Cancel Dinner at Aqua Turf Over Dropping NRA Fundraiser

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League is looking to terminate its plans to host a dinner at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville after the facility's decision not hold the National Rifle Association fundraiser dinner there.

“The Connecticut Citizens Defense League has been pleased to host our Anniversary Dinner at your location for the past several years. The Aqua Turf gas been a premier venue for organizations such as ours including sportsmen’s functions and other similar fundraisers,” CCDL president Scott Wilson and CCDL events coordinator Holly Sullivan wrote in a letter to Aqua Turf.

“However, we are tremendously disappointed in the Aqua Turfs statement released yesterday that the Friends of the NRA would no longer be welcome after a 25 year relationship. While we understand that the Aqua Turf received pressure from outside entities, we cannot continue to patronize Aqua Turf now that your company has publicly taken a political stance in stark contrast to our own,” the statement goes on to say.

“We stand in solidarity with the Friends of the NRA and, therefore request to terminate our agreement with the Aqua Turk for the February 9th 2019 event. Additionally, we will not be submitted the already drafted February 15th 2020 agreement,” Wilson and Sullivan wrote.

Aqua Turf did not have a comment Friday morning about the letter from the CCDL.

The venue became a target for anti-NRA activists from the Newtown Action Alliance as the banquet venue was poised to host a Friends of the National Rifle Association fundraiser on March 23. The NRA had hosted the fundraiser at the Plantsville location for years.

At the time, Aqua Turf’s longtime general manager, Tim Needham, called the attack “totally unfair” and said that they do not discriminate against clients for any reason.

However, Aqua Turf officials earlier this week announced that they and NRA officials mutually agreed to move the function somewhere else.

When the announcement came out, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League expressed its disappointment at the decision.

The Newtown Action Alliance, which had previously called for a boycott of the venue, applauded the Aqua Turf’s action.

“We do not want corporations and private entities to do business with the NRA, let alone help to raise money for the NRA,” Po Murray, chairwoman of the Newtown Action Alliance, said in a statement released earlier this week.

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