Last March a 10 year old terminal little girl named Brittany and I spoke at the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association annual meeting. Our goal was to share with the audience what hunting meant to children with disabilities and life threatening illnesses and encourage them to donate their bear tag to a needy child. We only had one man come forward to donate his bear tag which was discouraging.
I contacted the WI DNR and purchased the list of bear hunters who were willing to be on their mailing list; the list contained 1001 names.
I than composed a letter and with the help of a very special mother who lost her only child in an automobile accident two weeks earlier, got the following letter out to ALL 1001 bear hunters:
March 30, 2006
RE: Wisconsin Bear Hunt for terminally-ill and disabled children
As president and founder of the United Special Sportsmen Alliance (USSA), I am writing today to request your personal support in our mission to place a minimum of 6 terminally-ill and disabled children on the Wisconsin bear hunt of their dreams. As a fellow hunter, and WBHA member, I fully understand the patience and perseverance required to obtain a coveted Wisconsin State bear tag, which makes this letter - and our mission - all the more urgent. I hope you will find it in your heart to help me make an unforgettable impact on the life of a deserving youngster.
Operating outside of Pittsville, WI; USSA is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to granting terminally ill and disabled youngsters (and adults) hunting and fishing adventures they have long dreamed about, but might otherwise never realize because of their tragic medical circumstances. Since our founding in 2000, we have made more than 2,600 such dreams come true. Sadly, for many of our children, time is an ever-advancing, mortal enemy, and their diseases will soon overcome them. Though their bodies may be weak, their spirits are as strong as their love for the outdoors. Helping them break the chains of hospitals, therapy, treatments and operating rooms, while allowing them to experience the excitement and fellowship of a Wisconsin bear hunt is a valuable community service. You can help usher in a new era of sportsmanship in one of the following two ways;
First, if you wish to donate your 2006 Wisconsin bear tag to the USSA, we will use it to send a terminally ill or disabled child on the hunt of their dreams, and will pay for their travel, lodging and equipment expenses ourselves.
Or, if you'd prefer to take one of our USSA children on your bear hunt with you, we will send a qualified chaperone along with that child so they can experience - first hand - the lifelong dream of harvesting their own black bear by your side.
Regardless of which option you may choose, the USSA will gratefully provide you with a handsome, framed Certificate of Outstanding Merit, along with vibrant, color hunt photographs of the child that you sponsor on his/her hunt and a national press release announcing your donation. Even the cost of the tag itself is tax-deductible. Please call me at (800) 518-8019 or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) when you may have a moment.
In the meantime, I thank you for your time, your consideration and your help in bringing terminally-ill and disabled children inner peace through the great outdoors.
All the best,
President and Founder
This letter touched the hearts of many bear hunters! Next month (September) there will be twenty-two disabled youth hunters from Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, Alabama, West Virginia, Indiana, North Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana and Kansas going Wisconsin bear hunting. I will need help from the taxidermists to get these bears mounted. If you would be interested in donating a mounting please contact me (800) 518-8019 or email@example.com
God bless you!
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This weekend (August 26-27) will be the start of our disabled/terminal youth bear hunts. These hunts with will be a very enjoyable and exciting experience for these special hunters and their guides. It will also be a very rewarding moment for the bear tag donors and taxidermists who play such an important role in making these disabled children's wish possible.
We are over half way for our goal of "22 taxidermists), but we are still in need of another 10 mounts. We are a 100% volunteer not for profit national hunting and fishing charity and all donations are tax deductible.
If you would be interested in donating a bear mounting please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 518-8019. Thank you and God bless you!