Daniel James Hendricks
Behind The Scenes
The many wonderful things that happen with and through UFFDA don’t happen by accident.
I am not sure how many fine compliments and how much positive feedback I have heard in recent months about what a wonderful experience the UFFDA hunts are. And those remarks don’t just come from the hunters, but from all who are connected in any way, regardless of the association to the events. Landowners, guides, volunteers and hunters alike all agree that an UFFDA hunt is a very special happening. Four days of heartwarming activities and events that seem to bring out the very best in the people who participate at all levels of the hunts.
Now if one were to sit down and really think about all the facets of these events and how well everything falls into place, even the simplest of us would realize that, “Wow! There must be a lot of work that goes into these projects to make them flow so smoothly!” Well let me tell you, it is a lot of work! But the true secret of the on-going success of the United Foundation For Disabled Archers is the super-stars that tirelessly toil behind the scenes throughout the course of the entire year to breathe life into its mission. Selfless, caring and ambitious people who are dedicated to just one thing, sharing the bowhunting experience with individuals that would have an otherwise hard time doing so by themselves because of physical limitations.
Well into our eighteenth year of the mission, I am still in awe of the way our people motivate themselves and labor to improve on our methods and the quality of our service to physically challenged hunters. There is an old adage from my days back on the farm that can be readily applied to UFFDA and its toiling team, “The cream always rises to the top.” And believe me when I say, UFFDA is very high in butterfat.
From the moment a hunt ends, the work on next year’s event begins. Analysis of what transpired during the most recent event is made and the good results are honed to bring out an even sharper edge. The poorer results are scrutinized, thoroughly evaluated and then improved upon or discarded completely. This entire process is carried on by the participants and then finally acted upon by the Board of Directors with the entire process being completed based on what is good for UFFDA, its members and its supporters as a whole. Once the analysis has been completed, it’s on to planning for the next event in a detailed effort to make it the better then the last.
The Board of Directors is the tip of the broadhead in the year to year operations of the UFFDA and as should be expected, its members are very sharp. The Board Table is the arena of ideas, and when those ideas are introduced in raw form, they are collectively hammered into shape and then finely polished to make them functional and beneficial to the mission of the team. Although there is great variety in the skills, backgrounds and personalities among the Board Members they are all firmly quilted together by a deep dedication and love for the aspirations of the UFFDA purpose as well as a sincere respect for one another.
One of the changes enacted upon by the Board at the most recent meeting prior to the Annual UFFDA Banquet was adding one more issue of the UFFDA Chronicles each year. Starting in 2012, the Chronicles will be published three times a year with new issues coming out in January, May and September. It was suggested that we go to four issues a year, but if we are to expand, we will need more written contributions from our membership to provide the materials to fill those issues. Any UFFDA member is invited to submit your stories, articles, product reviews or photos to the editor for consideration and inclusion in upcoming issues of the Chronicles.
If you have any questions about an idea or story line that you might have, please give me a call and we can talk about it. If the Chronicles is to continue to grow, we will need more contributions from our membership.
We are also looking for new advertisers to help fund the expansion of our publication. Here again, we would like to count on our members to help find folks that would be interested in advertising in the Chronicles. Terrie Schrank has been appointed as our Chronicles Advertising Chairman so if you find a local sporting goods store or business that is interested in our publication or you need materials to present to prospective advertisers, contact Terrie for complete details on how we can get an advertising program started for them. The more advertisers we get, the bigger and better the UFFDA Chronicles can become.
Another order of business that was finalized by the Board was the installations of two new ramps for Camp Wilderness. Through generous donations from individuals in Park Rapids, an excellent bid by Darchuk Manufacturing also of Park Rapids and the final action taken by the Board, there will be two new aluminum wheelchair ramps permanently installed on two additional cabins for the 2012 UFFDA Camp Wilderness Hunt. The Board approved the balance payment to complete the task making the camp more accessible than it already is. The board would like to thank both the Park Rapids donors as well as George Darchuk for helping to make these additional ramps a reality.
The 2012 UFFDA Raffles are underway. Wisconsin is having a Cash Raffle funded by the sales of $5 tickets. For more information or to purchase or get tickets to sell, contact Tom Nicholson at 608-745-4868. The Camp Wilderness Hunt is having a Ten Gun Raffle funded by sale of one hundred $100 tickets as well as a special raffle for a handcrafted Wooden Portrait and a handmade quilt funded by the sale of $5 dollar tickets. If you would like more information about either of these raffles, please call the UFFDA Main Desk at 320-634-3660. These raffles are very important as they are responsible for funding a very large part of our UFFDA events so please participate in them by buying tickets and helping to sell them.
Ozark Mountain Outfitters from Houston, MO once again donated a 3-day Whitetail/Turkey Hunt that was auctioned off at the Annual UFFDA Banquet and purchased by brand new UFFDA Member, Eugene Lloyd of Otsego, MN. This year the hunt was christened with a new name. From this time forward, the hunt will be called the Annual Delmer Bentz Hunt in honor of our dearly departed brother. It is a wonderful tribute for a seasoned UFFDA volunteer that gave his all to our organization and we thank Jim and Darlene Wilson for honoring Del, and UFFDA as well, with this kind donation.
Kim and Cindy Kafka of the Diamond K Ranch in Havre, MT once again donated an elk hunt that was auctioned off at the Annual Banquet. It was purchased by Terry Haugeto of Sartelll, MN. This is the same hunt that was featured as the cover story of the last UFFDA Chronicles in which John Swanson successfully bagged his very first elk in a late November adventure. A special thank you goes out to Kim and Cindy for their continued support of the UFFDA Mission.
The UFFDA banquet was another great success. Everyone there seemed to be having a wonderful time, even Irene Klein who knowingly bought her own cake pan back on the silent auction for $55 after she told Karen and me that we could have it (just got to love you, Mark and Irene). John Meager from Meager Auction Service in Avon was once again our live auctioneer and did an excellent job of working the crowd while auctioning off our items. We wish to thank John for his continued involvement in our annual banquets and all that he does to help make the event so successful.
We would also like to thank Joseph’s Fine Dining in Avon for the good food, wonderful support and continued assistance in our efforts. The facilities at Joseph’s are warm and homey and we have plenty of room for expansion for the banquet to grow. It is centrally located and we are so very pleased and thankful to be able to work with such a fine establishment and hospitable crew.
The Minnesota picnic is coming up in June and we would like to encourage all of the UFFDA members who can attend to please do so. It will be held at Barsness Park in Glenwood, MN and will include a silent auction, lots of good food and heaps of UFFDA camaraderie for all who attend. Don’t let rainy weather scare you away as we have both an inside facility and a large shelter to stave off the moisture should the likelihood materialize.
Also remember that the UFFDA Face Book home page is up and running and the new UFFDA website <www.uffdaclub.com> is done so visit both sites often for the latest news and contributions by UFFDA members. If you have a computer, go on line and join in the action. It’s where a lot of the UFFDA members are hanging out so let’s shake things up and give our internet presence some life.
On a final note we would ask that any news about illnesses of our members be reported to Tom Nicholson or Daniel Hendricks so that we can get the news posted in a timely fashion on both sites. Also if you have any other information that would be pertinent to our organization, do not be afraid to go on line to the UFFDA Face Book page and post it so everyone stays up to date on what is going on with our members.
That’s about it from my desk for the May issue. Hope to see as many of you as possible at the upcoming UFFDA events. Until then, please take care, be well and may God bless you all.