It is the mission of the UNITED FOUNDATION FOR DISABLED ARCHERS to promote and provide a means to practice all forms of archery for any physically challenged person.
The United Foundation For Disabled Archers (UFFDA)has been in existence since the fall of 1994. It was incorporated in the spring of 1997 and received its non-profit status from the IRS in November 1997. It currently has over 1400 members throughout the United States, with more folks joining every week.
During the last weekend of September (since 1995) UFFDA hosts a 4-day Whitetail hunt in Northern Minnesota for 30 of its disabled members. It hosts a second event the following weekend in Central Wisconsin (since 1999) for another 30 members.
Hunters are selected each year by a drawing and then assigned their own personal guides. The guides contact the hunters to discover what their exact circumstances and personal needs are. By the time the hunters arrive at camp, their guides have prepared the hunting sites and have met all of the hunters' special needs. The entire event is provided at no cost to the hunters. All they are responsible for is their travel expenses to and from the hunt. The lodging, meals, hunters' hospitality package, awards, door prizes, and programs are provided by the all-volunteer fund-raising efforts of the hunt committee.
Currently efforts are underway to launch new UFFDA hunts in Texas and Illinois. The objective of the Foundation is to have an official UFFDA hunt in every state in the Union. In order to accomplish this, our organization is constantly searching for new physically challenged and able-bodied members to assist in this growth. The ambitious task of this systematic growth requires the acquisition of dedicated volunteers who have exceptional leadership abilities.
The United Foundation For Disabled Archers wishes to open the doors of archery and bowhunting for any physically challenged person. Even if they have no desire to hunt, we wish to provide an opportunity for them to experience the therapeutic benefits that modern archery can provide.
August of 2000 saw the first of many upcoming 3D tournaments take place in Verona, WI. This event was set up to allow wheelchair shooters to maneuver around the wooded course in order to compete in the contest. The competition had classes for both vertical and horizontal bow shooters. Future target tournaments in other states will allow both hunters and non-hunters a chance to compete against people with similar physical limitations in 3-D target matches on a statewide basis. The summer tournament season would then culminate with the National tournament to be held at a central location. As our members and support grow, so will the number of tournaments, which will greatly benefit our physically challenged members.
Contacts are being made with a variety of health care facilities that work with the physically challenged in search of new prospects. Rehab centers are being visited as our members work with these institutions in an effort to make contact with perspective candidates for future UFFDA activities. UFFDA is also working toward becoming a clearinghouse of information for archers with disabilities. We are assembling data on products and equipment that will be of assistance to these special people in the field and on the target range. We are gathering the names of accessible outfitters and private landowners that are providing additional hunting opportunities for our disabled members. As our numbers grow, the networking will multiply and more of our needs will be met.
UFFDA has its own Web site on the Internet. This vehicle is helping us spread the word about our mission and activities. It is also assisting us by gaining new members and additional support for our cause. Our Internet address is: www.uffdaclub.com
As our numbers of both physically challenged and able-bodied members grow, we will continue to strive to create new opportunities for our membership to experience and enjoy the benefits of modern archery.
Note: The United Foundation For Disabled Archers follows the guidelines established by the Disabled Veterans of America to determine whether or not a person is physically challenged. Our objective is not to discriminate or judge, but only to serve needs of archers with disabilities. It is our hope that those with lesser needs will join our organization as support people and will endeavor to assist those with more physical limitations.
If you are a physically challenged archer looking for a unique bowhunting adventure, the United Foundation For Disabled Archers (UFFDA) has the opportunity you have been searching for. Each year UFFDA sponsors bowhunts at various locations across America.
For example, the last weekend of September 30 hunters gather at Camp Wilderness in Park Rapids, Minnesota to pursue Whitetail deer. The following weekend, another 30 physically challenged archers meet in Baraboo, Wisconsin to hunt whitetail at the Badger State Army Ammunition Plant. All of these events have one thing in common: they are absolutely free to the disabled members of UFFDA. The only cost for which the hunter is responsible is getting to and from the camp. If hunters decide that they want to stay at a hotel instead of the camp facilities, they are responsible for the additional cost of housing.
The hunts are filled each year with special preference being given to members who have never attended an UFFDA hunt before. A drawing is held the end of May and the hunters are chosen for that fall's events. If there are no spots left, your name is placed on a reserve list for substitutions in the case of cancellations or to be given first priority for a future UFFDA event.
Once you have been selected, you will be assigned a guide that will open a line of communication with you. In the weeks preceding the hunt, your guide will talk with you to determine what your special needs are and what preparations will have to be made for you before your arrival in camp. He or she will have your hunting area scouted and a hunting site set up according to your requirements. All you will have to do is show up and enjoy.
When you arrive at camp, you will register at the check-in site where you will receive your hospitality package, which will include an official UFFDA hunting coat and cap for first-time hunters. If you have received your coat at a previous UFFDA hunt, you will receive a hunting shirt and cap along with an assortment of other hunting items. For the next three days you will be treated like royalty as the all-volunteer staff caters to your every need. If you are successful and harvest an animal, the staff will cut and wrap your game and end you home with a cooler of fresh wild game.
UFFDA is looking for additional members all across America to help organize similar events. We would like to start UFFDA Chapters in each state. As our organization grows, we have three major objectives.
The first is INFORMATION. We must reach as many physically challenged people as we can. By becoming aware of and contacting the appropriate organizations and medical facilities that deal with these special people, we will be able to offer the joy of the bow and arrow to even more individuals. Personal contacts are very important also. If you have a neighbor or a friend who is physically challenged, ask questions to determine there is any interest in archery or bowhunting. Also, do not be afraid to ask a stranger if he or she has ever considered participating in our great sport. Continuous prospecting is how we are going to find the people to fill up our ranks.
The second objective is to gain more MEMBERS. Not just physically challenged archers, but able-bodied members as well. There is much work to be done if we are going to provide more hunts and tournaments especially for the disabled archer. We need ambitious men and women who see the benefit of sharing with others if we are to complete the task at hand. As our numbers increase, so will the number of people we can serve. When you find individuals who are unselfish enough to share of themselves, ask about their friends. Caring people usually have caring friends. Remember that the swan flies with other swans while the hawk flies by itself. We are in search of other swans.
The last objective is FUNDING. Not one of our projects can become a reality without the capital to make them happen. It would be wonderful if we were able to find one major benefactor who would underwrite our efforts completely. The reality is that it probably will be done by hundreds of small donors who see and appreciate the good in what we are doing. These patrons must be found and made aware of our mission by the members of our organization.
It must begin on a local basis and grow from there. Sportsman clubs, local lodges, and charitable organizations are just several good places to start. Our efforts speak for themselves. We have videos and printed matter galore. Whatever you need, we will be happy to provide. And please share your fund raising successes with other fund members.
Each hunt sponsored by a State chapter is a structured event dedicated to raising funds for the furtherance of the United Foundation For Disabled Archers. Each event is expected to financial cover its own expenses, contribute to corporate, and to set aside funds for future chapter event.
Remember, if we are to experience continuous and measurable growth, we must gather information, members and funding. The United Foundation for Disabled Archers invites each and every one of you to become a part of our growing organization and the worthy mission we have chosen, grow in size and be able to help even more physically challenged individuals.