Flowers from Gun Owners PAC postponed dinner donated to East County first responders

The San Diego County Gun Owners PAC (SDCGO), a political action committee promoting Second Amendment rights in San Diego County, was ready with 90 fresh-flower arrangements, including 65 centerpieces and 25 wrapped bouquets, for its Second Amendment Celebration Dinner, an annual fundraiser benefiting Second Amendment advocacy.

Unfortunately, the date for the dinner, the PAC’s fifth annual, was changed due to Covid-related concerns from Aug. 15 to Saturday, Oct. 3.

So, what happened to the flowers? SDCGO officials decided to donate the flowers to first responders throughout San Diego County, including offices of the La Mesa Police Dept., La Mesa Fire Dept. and San Diego County Sheriffs Dept. Flowers were dropped off by SDCGO staff members Wendy Hauffen and Desire Bergman. Flowers were ordered from Christine Winchel of Christine’s Floral Designs of Santee.

“Because of the coronavirus impact to the flower industry, we had to special-order flowers for our dinner several months in advance,” said Hauffen. “When the event date changed at the last minute, we decided to still receive delivery of the fresh flowers and then donate the beautiful arrangements to first responders as an expression of our appreciation for their service.”

The dinner will be held in October at the same venue planned for the August date, the Town and Country Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Mission Valley, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego. The dinner on Aug. 15 was planned to be held outside at the Town and Country Hotel, according to Michael Schwartz, executive director, SDCGO.

“With an outdoor dinner, we were confident that we would be in compliance with all state, county and city regulations because there is no county health restriction limiting the number of outdoor dinner guests,” said Schwartz. “And, we were not going to be pressured by unfounded threats from elected officials who oppose our fundraiser in support of the Second Amendment because of their own politically based objections.

“However, for a variety of reasons, including our desire to keep the focus of the event on our mission and to protect the integrity of the event, we decided to reschedule the event from Aug. 15 to Oct. 3. We wanted to be sensitive to the feelings of some of our older members who were concerned that our adherence to masks and social distancing would not be enough. Also, the later date gives us even more opportunities to accommodate more guests. We already had 750 reservations for Aug. 15, and we expected the final attendance figure to be even higher. Now, at our dinner on the first Saturday in October, it’s possible that we might reach 1,000 people in attendance.”

Schwartz continued: “Our prudence and precaution should not be viewed as a sign of panic or fearfulness. We are not giving up and we will not be intimidated or dissuaded because of our frustration with California politicians. We’re in this together, and together, we will win. During this year of unprecedented weirdness, I have promised our 2,000-plus members that our Second Amendment Celebration dinner will not be canceled and we will work hard to make it an amazing, good time. It will be an evening of incredible inspiration and hope for the future of the Second Amendment and the guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. It will be worth the delay. We’re inviting everyone who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment to join us on Oct. 3 and help us change California from the bottom up.”

The Oct. 3 dinner is open to the public. Scheduled activities at the fundraiser will include a silent and live auction, speakers and awards presented to gun shops, SDCGO members and politicians. Attendees will include gun sports and hunting enthusiasts, politicians, Second Amendment advocates and gun control opponents.

Tickets begin at $99 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. For more information, including sponsorship information, visit Questions can be emailed to or

While every U.S. state has a Second Amendment PAC, along with several nationwide gun rights PACs, SDCGO is believed to be America’s first strictly local, countywide Second Amendment advocacy organization. The local PAC features a diverse and inclusive membership with representatives from the LGBT, Latino, African American, Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

Founded in 2015, the San Diego County Gun Owners is a registered political action committee (FPPC ID #1379388) and advocacy organization focused on organizing the gun industry and community and protecting the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. With a membership exceeding 2,000 individuals, the PAC provides news and information on new gun laws and Second Amendment advocacy. Its sponsored events include gun safety classes, small gun shows, sporting clay shoots, social gatherings and pistol, rifle and shotgun experiences taught by professional instructors. For more information, visit