Our Missions Challenge
Kirk Waldron – Missions Chair
As we wrestle with the uncertain directions of normal life with the Pandemic, the Chapter maintains its focus on our core principal of using our funds and efforts to assist the most deserving people, places, and causes.
Our Missions spending and concentration is directed towards three main categories; Humanitarian, Conservation, and Education. We have supplied funding for countless causes and associations. Here are some of the most notable ones we have funded in the past.
We have helped to fund a really important group called Hunt with Heart who take young hunters with serious heart problems hunting on private property. They select their candidates from a list selected by Texas Children’s Hospital doctors. A helicopter is always available to fly to the ranch to pick up children for whom a heart transplant donor has been located
We supply clothing and guiding for young disadvantaged youth at Operation Orphans in Mason, Texas. Both girls and boys are able to hunt and fish at area ranches free of charge. We routinely donate several hundred pounds of venison to the Star of Hope Mission in Houston and help serve the meal prepared from that.
Supplying funding for Wounded Warrior Hunts is also a high priority for the chapter. One of the most gratifying hunts takes place in January at the Sinor Ranch in Three Rivers, Texas, which is sponsored by owners Keith and Rae Sinor. Deserving wounded warrior military are treated to a weekend of deer hunting, good food and camaraderie. They are all able to harvest a deer to take home and fees for the taxidermy for their mount is also provided. Many of those soldiers come from Ft. Campbell in Kentucky and are members of the 160th SOAR.
We also sponsor the Rifa Camp school in Zimbabwe which is an arm of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters Association. Young students travel from cities to the school where they are taught about the importance of conserving the wildlife in their country. The hope is that some of those students will rise to positions of importance that will allow them to influence the future of conservation of both the habitat and wildlife of Zimbabwe. We have helped fund this school for over a decade.
We sponsor many anti-poaching efforts in both Texas and Africa. We fund the efforts of rangers at the Chiredzi River African Wildlife Trust to combat the slaughter of Elephants in the Southeast Zimbabwe Loveld. We also fund the efforts of Chawalo Safaris in Mozambique to protect the animals in their area. In concert with that effort we have funded several construction projects in the village of Zumbo including piping to carry river water to their central area and drilling of wells to supply drinkers. We have funded the construction of the first medical facility in the area. We help fund the Operation Game Thief billboards and Wall of Shame exhibition trailer. We are a charter member of the Ivan Carter World Conservation Association and fund John Jackson’s Conservation Force projects.
We send students to the SCI AWLS Camp in Jackson, WY where educators are given a week long class in the outdoors and are instructed about how to teach the conservation of both wildlife and habitat in their classes at home. There are six weeklong sessions over the summer and one of those accepts young students who are interested in a career in wildlife protection. We have also funded the AWLS Cabin Replacement Project which rebuilds the aging cabins at the camp. We have funded CWD research at Texas Tech University and sent students from the Texas A & M Veterinary School to Africa to study the indigenous animals that also populate the Hill Country area of Texas. We have funded a student from the Texas A & M Entomology Department to study in field programs about how to identify and eradicate insects that plague deer in Texas.
Those a just a few of the Missions projects for which the Chapter uses the funds that our members help raise to make our outdoor world better. This is really important work about which ever chapter member can be really proud. We have accomplished many more than those listed and will continue to pursue other deserving projects and will continue to fund some of those.