15-Year-old Joey Dauer from Redford Twp MI suffers from Hydrocephalus caused by an Arachnoid Cyst. Joey has had 70+ brain surgeries and currently has a VP Shunt, which must be corrected and changed on a regular basis. Despite all this Joey is a very active young man participating in Special Olympics in snowboard competitions and enjoying life to the fullest! We first met Joey's parents at Outdoorrama in 2007 and when his parents went home and told Joey about our program, he immediately said he wanted a buffalo head to hang over his bed to wake up to every day!
Joey stayed at Superior Game with Jeff Debacker and his family. When the family got back I don’t think you could have found a more thankful and happy family! Joey and his family traveled from their home in SE MI to Edgetts Lodge www.edgettslodge.com in which they spent three wonderful days enjoying the beauty that surrounds Edgetts Lodge. Edgetts Lodge is just south of Cadillac, MI in northern Lower Michigan. The combination of snow and sunshine gave them piece and relaxation prior to their exciting and heart warming adventure that awaited them at Superior Game Ranch! As Joey's mom puts it, "He loved the lodge, and it's peacefulness. I'm glad we did that before the hunt, it gave him a chance to "lay back" as he put it and get ready for this"!
Although hard to leave Edgetts Lodge, Joey was excited to finally be heading further north in his quest for that buffalo he has always pictured hanging in the house! As they drove north, the snow depths got deeper and the excitement built. Joey has never seen so much snow and this was just more of an excitement level for him as he loves to snowboard as well!
When they arrived at Superior Game Ranch www.superiorgameranch.com they were met at the door with open arms by Jeff and Reba Debacker, owners of Superior. Jeff and Reba are no strangers to Benefit4Kids and have worked with us in past helping us bring the smiles and memories to these kids faces! Jeff and Reba have once again stepped up and helped us out by donating part of this hunt to help Joey see his dream come true!
The day after arriving, they headed out after a warm breakfast in search for Joey's Buffalo. They finally came up to the edge of an opening and saw a group of buffalo. Joey took aim and when the monster he had his sights on, gave him a clear shot, he took it and within 40 yards, the buffalo was down! The family tells me there were a few tense moments after that as the group of buffalo that remained in the field began to head for Joey and Jeff but lucky they moved off and Joey was able to finally walk up and put his hands on his lifetime trophy
Benefit4Kids would like to send a out a special Thank You to Mark Slavsky at Edgetts Lodge for his donation and support in helping Benefit4Kids make Joey's trip that much more rewarding for not only Joey, but the entire family as well! Please visit www.edgettslodge.com for more information and contact information if you would like to spend some time at this beautiful cabin as well.
We would also like to send out a special thank you to Jeff and Reba Debacker of Superior Game Ranch once again for stepping up and once again helping us make the life of a child that much brighter! If your interested in an exotic, Elk, Hog, Buffalo, or bird hunt, contact Superior Game Ranch www.superiorgameranch.com in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a hunt I promise you won't be disappointed about, and tell them Benefit4Kids sent you!
We would also like to thank Jim Shugar of Shugar Taxidermy in Indian River Michigan for helping us out and driving up to Superior Game Ranch to pick up this trophy. Shugar Taxidermy in conjunction with Hills Trophies Unlimited www.hillstrophiesunlimited.com are Benefit4Kids official taxidermist and do a great job on every kids mount to preserve that memory to last a lifetime, as they will do with Joey's Buffalo!
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