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
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.