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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

The United Special Sportsman Alliance believes EVERY child should have a chance to get in to nature

Region 3, July 19, 2008
Genoa NFH's traveling aquarium display being used at the USSA family weekend event.
Genoa NFH's traveling aquarium display being used at the USSA family weekend event. - Photo Credit: n/a
This young lady gets instruction as she takes aim with a 22 caliber rifle.
This young lady gets instruction as she takes aim with a 22 caliber rifle. - Photo Credit: n/a

According to Founder and President Brigid O'Donoghue, United Special Sportsman Alliance, Inc. (USSA) is a Non-profit "dream wish" granting charity that specializes in sending critically ill and disabled youth on the outdoor adventure of their dreams!  The USSA has been granting outdoor adventures for eight years.  The 100 percent volunteer staff of the USSA has taken kids, who would normally be overlooked for hunting or fishing opportunities due to their illness, on adventures all over the country and even into Canada.  No game is too big or small for “Brigid’s Kids” that have hunted everything from pheasant to black bear and whitetail deer to turkeys.  When hunting season is over, Brigid sets her sights to water and fishing, enlisting the help of several Pro B.A.S.S. fisherman to take youth fishing for anything that bites a hook.  In addition to arranging these adventures, USSA host a family weekend in July at Brigid’s home just outside Black River Falls, WI.  At the USSA family weekend, families from all across the country gather together to participate in a number of outdoor activities such as target shooting with bow and arrow or a 22 caliber rifle, fishing the numerous ponds that surround the cranberry bogs, riding tubes pulled by jet skies, singing, eating and fellowshiping with others who understand the countless doctor visits and treatments they endure.  Genoa National Fish Hatchery has been delighted for the past three years to be a part of the USSA family weekend by providing an aquarium with fish for their viewing enjoyment, and by giving several presentations on fish and mussel conservation. In the downtime, Genoa personnel assist the families at the fishing ponds or simply by building relationships and support by listening to the incredible stories that these kids have gone through.  At the end of the weekend, I’m not sure who has been blessed the most, the kids and their families or the volunteers.  I do know that Brigid with her video camera treasures each moment.  For more information about USSA please check out their web site www.childwish.com.               

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov