NIPSCO Gas and Electric Operations employees and community members of Knox, Indiana, volunteered last month with Turkey Tracks to provide people with disabilities the hunt of a lifetime.
Eric Corey, an Indiana resident and avid hunter who was diagnosed at the age of 16 with ALS, created Turkey Tracks. In 2012, Eric lost his battle with this disease at the age of 25, but his memory lives on in his mission.
This community-wide event is about the love of the outdoors – giving families a break from the constant doctor appointments and hospital visits – and enjoying a fun-filled weekend.
The Turkey Tracks hunt has the equipment and ability to take hunters with a terminal illness or with various disabilities, and provide them with the same adventure that a person with mobility would enjoy.
For example, hunters who are unable to use their arms and hands use a “sip and puff" device that allows for the gun to safely rest on the wheelchair with a cell phone attached to it. The phone has a bulls-eye on it with a straw attached to the trigger assembly. When the hunter wants to shoot, they look at the cell phone, suck in on the straw and blow, which triggers the gun to shoot.
“This was an amazing weekend with so many inspiring people," said Steve Sylvester, vice president of Gas Operations and NIPSCO general manager. “To see the level of commitment everyone had to make this event so meaningful for so many people was truly a humbling experience. I would like to thank all the NIPSCO employees that dedicated their time to help make this event such a success. I would also like to give a shout out to and give thanks to Andy Stone, director, Safety Compliance and Risk Management, for his involvement over the years. People continue to be thankful for his support. I look forward to participating at next year's Turkey Tracks Hunt!"
This was the 10th year NIPSCO has participated in the Turkey Tracks Hunt. Nine NIPSCO employees were guides for the hunters, and a total of 13 employees volunteered.
“I am so thankful for the employees of NIPSCO and the members of USW 12775 who volunteered to help us out," said Seth McIntire, lineman and board member of Turkey Tracks. “This hunt wouldn't be possible without the help of our brothers and sisters here at work, and the financial assistance from NIPSCO through the Dollars for Doers program. It was another very successful year!"
Volunteer hunt guides, local farmers and supportive friends all pitched in to help the hunters have the most enjoyable experience possible.
“It's extremely rewarding to be involved with a group of folks who dedicate themselves to the enjoyment of others," said Mike Zylstra, front line leader, Construction Services. “To see the happiness of everyone involved – hunters, guides and family members alike, is truly uplifting. My family and I look forward to this event every year!"
Click here to learn more about Turkey Tracks.