A Hunter's Wish allows youngsters to fulfill a dream


PDA






Drizzt
January 5, 2003, 05:14 AM
A Hunter's Wish allows youngsters to fulfill a dream

By TIM RENKEN
Post-Dispatch
01/02/2003



Two years ago when the Make A Wish Foundation asked Josh Sherfy to make a wish, he said he wanted to go big-game hunting. But Make A Wish doesn't do hunting. It has a policy against putting guns in the hands of kids.

Sherfy, now 18, of St. James, Mo., is into a second round of chemotherapy for cancer. He has had part of one leg amputated. He is about to start treatment at Children's Hospital in St. Louis for a tumor growing in his lung.

Not willing to arrange a hunt, Make A Wish provided Sherfy with a shopping spree at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo. Sherfy said they told him he could buy anything he wanted except guns or knives. Sherfy said he "had a ball," and still hasn't managed to spend all the $1,600 he was allotted.

Meanwhile, Sherfy's wish to go big-game hunting was fulfilled by A Hunter's Wish, the creation of St. Louisan Martin Wilson, 44, and Safari Club International, an organization of big game hunters.

Three years ago, Wilson was having so much fun hunting and fishing with his own son, Elliot, that he wanted show these sports to other kids. He discussed it with Drake Dawson, who is president of the Central Missouri Chapter of SCI.

At the same time, Dawson and his membership wanted to do something in the place of Make A Wish for kids who want to hunt.

Wilson said SCI "jumped at the idea" of his providing the program. Their only condition was that Wilson become a member, which he did, and A Hunter's Wish, also known as Safari Wish, was created.

Last fall, Sherfy got his wish to go big game hunting. He, Wilson and some other SCI-Missouri members took Josh to a big game ranch at Licking, Mo.

Sherfy has been hunting with his dad, Doug, and younger brother, Justin, since he was 12. Sherfy, who has never been able to bag a deer, bagged both a Corsican ram and a wild boar with his .243 Savage in his hunt. He made such a good shot on the boar that the taxidermist who did the mount had to patch the critter's ear.

"I had a great time," said Sherfy. He and his girlfriend, Katie Watkins, 17, of Salem, came to St. Louis the other evening to have dinner with Wilson and receive the two trophies, both paid for by A Hunter's Wish.

Wilson said the goal of the group is to give young people such as Sherfy an experience to remember as they go through their ordeal. In three years, A Hunter's Wish has taken seven kids on safaris, including Sherfy. All of these kids had very serious illnesses. Two have since died.

From the group's Web site, ahunterswish.com:

"When the Make a Wish Foundation decided to refuse to grant the last wishes of terminally ill young hunters, Martin Wilson and many other angry sportsmen were ready to jump in with both feet. Martin got the ball rolling and the Safari Wish program was created overnight. This program, a product of The Safari Club International Foundation, is making dreams come true. Its goal is to grant any hunt for chronically ill young people. We currently are accepting volunteers for people and outfitters who are willing to provide hunts. The response has been overwhelming.

"We have a long list of outfitters ready to help. We are also looking for any kids who want to go on the hunt of a lifetime. The mission of this site and this organization is to bring the children and the outfitters together, to make dreams come true ..."

Wilson can be reached at 1041 Wylin Court, Ferguson, 63135, at 314-640-1985 and at Martin@ahunterswish.com.

Reporter Tom Renken
E-mail: trenken@post-dispatch.com
Phone: 314-849-4239

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/columns.nsf/Tim+Renken/29ED2CCD3C352BAA86256CA2006791A4?OpenDocument&highlight=2%2Chunter%60s%2Cwish&headline=A+Hunter%60s+Wish+allows+youngsters+to+fulfill+a+dream

If you enjoyed reading about "A Hunter's Wish allows youngsters to fulfill a dream" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
sm
January 5, 2003, 05:37 AM
This is a :cool: idea, deserves support and Kudo's

sasnofear
January 5, 2003, 06:54 AM
:) great

If you enjoyed reading about "A Hunter's Wish allows youngsters to fulfill a dream" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!