William Linton's Outdoor Wish Hunt
15-year old William Linton from Fort Smith, AR. always wanted to kill a big bull Elk. William is suffering from Ewings Sarcoma (bone cancer) but thanks to folks like you tonight that is the furthest thing from young William's mind. Instead of thinking about his battle with cancer William is reliving over and over again what has turned out to be in his words "the best day of my life". After several days of hard hunting and seeing lot's of elk but with no shots today William's dream came true. Tonight as William shares dinner with the other hunters in camp he'll tell and I'm sure retell the story of his big 5x5 bull. I wish I could see the smiles around that campfire tonight.
When I tell you William's hunt was meant to be you'll understand how true that was in how it all came together.
When I first talked to William's dad he told me he had been trying for over a year to find some one to help him make his son's dream come true. He had read about Benefit4Kids Outdoor Wish program in Petersen's Hunting magazine and hoped maybe we could help. He was floored when less than 5 minutes into our conversation I told him that indeed his search had ended. We discussed for a while what kind of hunt William could handle and decided that his health was good enough with his Dr's permission to hunt for his elk in the Rockies. We just had to find an outfitter in one of the Western states to set the hunt up with. I told his dad I'd go to work on that and I'd get back with him once I found one. Little did I know I'd be calling him back within hours.
About 45 minutes after our call ended my phone rang again and on the other end of it was a friend of mine from MBH & MLA. He told me he just got off the phone with the elk outfitter he had used for the last few years out in CO. He told me the outfitter was looking for an organization like B4K to work with and wanted to know if I'd be interested. I asked Doug to repeat what he just said so I could make sure I was hearing him right and Doug further explained that the outfitter would like to offer B4K a hunt if we could use it. I told Doug what had just happened and in his calm way he just said, "well then ya better give Tim a call".
In less time than it took to type this Tim Hamilton from Badger Creek Outfitters set up a hunt for William with me on the phone. He promised to make it a good hunt and had a special area he planned to take William. When I called William's dad that night to give him the dates for William's hunt so he could do what he needed to on their end he could not believe it happened so fast. After doing this for the last 7 years although thing like this still surprise me, they no longer amaze me. I believe there are other forces at work when it comes to these special kids.
So tonight thanks to Tim and Kate Hamilton at Badger Creek and so many of you here William will sleep well tonight. He'll no longer have to dream about his big bull elk but instead he and his dad will have a memory that will last their lifetimes. Tonight William will go to sleep with visions of his day still fresh in his mind and the words of Tim Hamilton will whisper him to sleep. You see Tim told William that not only did he get a big bull, he got the biggest bull of any hunter they've had this year.
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