Kippenberg Creek Kids continues its mission in the great outdoors
Kippenberg Creek Kids was established as a non-profit organization in 2002, with its mission to provide outdoor experiences to children with life threatening illnesses. The KCK lodge in Gleason has hosted numerous children and their families over the past 12 years.
The organization of KCK and the construction of the lodge brought to life a plan that KCK President Larry Beyer had been thinking about for years. A young family member, Lucas Boquist, had died at the age of 15 in 1996, before he got the chance to shoot a buck during deer season. Beyer, a professional hunting guide, decided to set up a program so kids like Lucas could experience the thrill of a successful deer hunt. Starting with his own money and a piece of his own land, Beyer set out to create what has become KCK.
KCK is supported by donations and the personal contributions of volunteers. Over the years, KCK has received support from local sportsmen’s organizations as well as former Green Bay Packers Mark Tauscher and Brett Favre.
“Nobody gets paid,” Beyer said of the organization. “All money raised goes directly to helping children.
In a letter to supporters in 2015, Beyer noted, “Your support continues to be instrumental in making hopes and dreams come true which otherwise would be unattainable. We thank you, as do the families that your efforts have served.”
Beyer and his wife, Lorri, who serves as KCK secretary, moved to Alaska in 2009. There, Larry and Lorri run a fishing lodge in a remote area well off the grid – 81 miles from the nearest road. He continues his activities with KCK by volunteering his lodge and services. He’s hosted bear hunts and salmon fishing expeditions.
“They always catch fish when they come by us,” Beyer said.
KCK provides the funding for the children and their families to get to Alaska.
To further their work with KCK, Larry and Lorri now plan to be in Wisconsin during the fall and winter months each year.
During 2015 the Kippenberg Creek Kids organization was able to open opportunities for families to enjoy the great outdoors of Wisconsin. The adventures this year in Wisconsin were bear hunts, which were provided to three children.
The first child was Sam Isenberger from Wisconsin. Sam is 16 years old and has Downs Syndrome. On Sept. 11, Sam went on the hunt with the group called “All Bayed Up.” Sam’s parents also went along. They ended up harvesting a 201-pound bear. Hank Zomchek transferred his tag so Sam could have the chance to go on a bear hunt.
“What an amaxing difference times like that can make in a person’s life – to be included and make a bigger circle of friends,” Sam’s family wrote to KCK. “We want to let you know that all the people involved did a great job with Sam.”
The second child was Alyssa Riley, 14 years old, with a disorder called Fragile X Syndrome. Again, the “All Bayed Up” hunters along with their dogs had a successful day of hunting. Sept. 19 Alyssa harvested a 93-pound bear and was very excited. Several members of Alyssa’s family accompanied her. Lisa Artac donated her tag to make this hunt possible.
Alyssa’s family thanked KCK for the unforgettable experience. “It was an unimagineable experience that we all got to be part of and will never forget,” they wrote. “I can’t thank everyone enough for all of your hard work and dedication that you all bring to these children and their families. The smiles, the laughter, the memories will never be forgotten!”
The third child was Bryce Kane, who is 11 years old from Wisconsin. At 8 years old he was diagnosed with Melanoma. Bryce harvested a 140-pound bear. Ron Firkus donated his tag and tag transfer was taken care of by Warden Joe Paul. Ron was serving as Bryce’s guide when he shot his bear.
Bryce’s mother, Sandy, expressed her thanks to KCK for providing him with the experience. “I couldn’t stop crying. I was so excited for my only child and this opportunity that was given to him,” she wrote. “Thank you for doing what you do for others. This was an experience of a life time and we appreciate everything that you do.”
Also there was an Alaskan adventure given to Tommy Moslander. Tommy was born with heart and lung problems. Tommy likes to fish so Kippenberg Creek Kids, Dean Patterson, and USSA (United Special Sportsman Association) combined efforts and on Aug. 7, 2015 Tommy accompanied by his mother and his mentor Carl Roberts arrived by bush plane to Memories Lodge in Alaska. His mother said has had so many operations they can’t keep track, Tommy is 17 now. A request was made by Tommy to have moose for supper, which continued at every evening meal. Tommy was able to fish salmon and northern pike. His adventure also included going on argo rides across the Alaska swamps, where mom even gave him permission to drive. And then there is always the exciting journey of the boat rides up and down the creek. They also enjoyed the beautiful Alaska landscape around Memories Lodge, Mt. Foraker, Mt. Yenlo and the Yenlo hills, the lake and sunrises. They were amazed at the scenery and the peace and quiet in the remote of Alaska. Tommy and company left on Aug. 12 with salmon filets which they had caught. Kit and Parker Rittgers provided one night of housing and transportation in Anchorage. Art Mathias donated his bush plane and time to fly Tommy and his party to Memories Lodge.
In a letter of thanks, Tommy said, “I would like to thank you and everybody involved for letting me come to Memories Lodge, Alaska and giving me the most fantastic vacation me and my mother have been on. The dinners were amazing and the scenery was even more beautiful then I could ever imagine. The fishing was some of the best I’ve ever done. I could spend hours out on the lake fishing for the biggest fish I have ever caught.”
KCK and its volunteers strive to provide the best possible experience for all children and families seeking what the organization has to offer. KCK has received a request for a moose hunt from a boy who lives in Almond, Wis. Plans are being made to bring this boy and his family of six on an adventure to Alaska in September of 2016. He is currently in treatment for leukemia.
KCK is planning to have a banquet as a fundraiser on Jan. 21, 2017. Follow Kippenberg Creek Kids on Facebook for coming activities and events. For more information on the organization, call Pat Beyer at 715-873-4605, 715-873-4523 or Larry Beyer at 907-733-1500. Kippenberg Creek Kids can be found online at www.kippenbergcreekkids.com.