In the spirit of the “season of giving,” for this edition of Trail Guide we’re spotlighting the selfless work of Rick Davis and the good folks at Dream Pursuit.
After seeing the impact a young friends’ final hunt had on the lives of those around him, Rick Davis knew he wanted to do something to make a difference in the lives of young people living with life-threatening illnesses.
He was so inspired, he decided to start Dream Pursuit, a non-profit organization dedicated to taking children and young adults with life threatening illnesses on their dream hunting or fishing trip.
“For those who frequent the outdoors, you know just how healing and rejuvenating it can be,” Davis says. “This is the reason why we offer hunting and fishing adventures to those families that are dealing with life-threatening illnesses. It gives them time away from the hospitals, doctors, shots and sickness, if even for just a few days.”
Davis and his wife, Lori, oversee the operation with the help of volunteers and their board of directors. Dream Pursuit became a non-profit organization in August 2009, and Davis, who currently makes his living in construction, hopes to someday run it as his full-time job.
For now, he and the rest of the Dream Pursuit team are working to raise funds and spread the word. This past summer, the organization successfully completed its first two Dream Adventures.
“There is no way that I can accurately project in words the look of excitement and joy for the participants and their families when they are able to successfully land a fish or harvest an animal,” Davis says. “To bring joy to these families and have the outdoors be the tool to deliver this excitement makes what we do worth every effort!”
Participants go through an application process, where they choose a hunting or fishing adventure. If approved and cleared by a doctor, Dream Pursuit goes to work scheduling the trip; lining up a guide, outfitter or charter captain as needed; and making travel arrangements.
Davis reached out to VANGUARD earlier this year, and we were happy to support the cause by contributing some Spirit Series binoculars.
“The binos are great!” Davis says. “They are very clear and have excellent light gathering capabilities for low light situations. [I was] very surprised and very pleased, and they are used with every participant during hunting adventures.”
So far, Davis said he has been blessed with generous donors, making it possible to offer participants their Dream Adventure at no cost to their families.
“We are a publicly funded organization, and without help we are not able to provide adventures for these young men and women,” Davis says. “They have dreamed of a fishing or hunting adventure like what we can provide but, in many cases, their families are not able to provide such a trip due to the financial obligations they have in trying to make their children well again. Please help us pass the word along to others who would be willing to help, so that we might continue our work.”