|Free Hunts for Sick Kids|
There are some decisions in life that just don't require deep thought and heavy consideration - and one of those decisions is whether or not to help a child in need. So when a fellow named John Mozingo posted some information in an online forum about a program that grants dream hunts to disabled and terminally ill children, I immediately knew two things: 1) Ken Banaciski of Slaughter Brothers Hog Hunts would pitch in by donating hog hunts, and 2) that I would plan to be there to help out during those hunts.
John himself is one of the adult recipients of the dream hunts that this program provides, and is now a member of the Board of the United Special Sportsmen Alliance (USSA), a nonprofit organization which grants outdoor wishes to disabled and terminally ill children and adults throughout the USA (roughly 90% are kids and 10% are adults). A victim of Crohn's Disease, John combined his dream hunt with helping a young man achieve his own outdoor dream. This unselfishness seems to be a characteristic shared by everyone involved in this project.
John Mozingo and his Texas Hog.
Photo copyright 2003 by USSA
USSA was founded by Brigid O'Donoghue, a vibrant and diverse woman who is no stranger to physical challenges herself. With a history including viral encephalitis, brain surgery, and (more recently) successful cancer surgery, this lady knows that when a doctor's diagnosis is especially dark, the best thing to do is to prove the doctors wrong - which she has done on more than one occasion.
Brigid O'Donoghue, wearing a jacket of her own design. The fabric features some of the biggest whitetail bucks taken in the wild.
Photo copyright 2003 by USSA
"My life has had many dead ends, twists and turns," Brigid told me in an interview in June, 2003. "I have overcome childhood illnesses, epilepsy, brain surgery, permanent disability, an extremely abusive relationship, no child support, no money and no line of credit!
"I'm a single mother of two wonderful children, Lindsey is 15 and Kenny is 13. I love any outdoor sport. I love to hunt, fish, weight lift, run, hike, swim and water ski. I love photography, fashion designing (11 years experience) and traveling.
"I grew up in a very large 100% Irish Catholic family with 6 brothers and 2 sisters. One of my brothers is physically and mentally disabled.
"I founded Bio-Tec Research, Inc., in 1999 and with its success I started donating funding and 50% of my life to charity in 2000 and then later on developed United Special Sportsmen Alliance in 2003.
"What made it all work was the unbelievable amount of donations from my customers at Bio-Tec Research, Inc. (customers being deer and elk farmers as well as [hunting] property owners).
"USSA has grown overnight and now it has become my favorite career because it is the most rewarding thing (besides raising my children) I have ever done!
"I'm dealing with terminally ill and disabled children daily, and because of my past health, I am able to stay strong and vibrant. I try to bring joy to families who have lost all hope!" And with the help of many other good folks, she is doing just that.
Page Two - Sponsors; Why it's Needed; Contact Info