“Cow Rustler” by Brandon Bailey Fine Arts, Donor and Member of SCI.
Safari Club International is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. Contact the National office at 1-888-SCI-HUNT or www.safariclub.org
Denver SCI Chapter
The Denver SCI Chapter is approximately 200 members strong. In addition to our regular members we are also able to leverage a much larger group through significant participation and coordination with other Colorado SCI Chapters as well as Pheasants Forever, Mule Deer Foundation, etc. Our two main areas of focus for fundraising are Humanitarian Efforts and Education.
In 2014 we continued our extensive work with Craig Hospital, Freedom Hunters, Operation TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), Project Wounded Ego, Hell of a Hunt, and other wounded veteran organizations to ensure those that have served our country have the opportunity to participate in the outdoors. In total, the Denver SCI Chapter organized 18 fishing/hunting outings in 2014 serving over 120 veterans. Our Chapter is also making a concentrated effort to raise funds to purchase multiple “Tracker Chairs”. These chairs provide veterans with physical disabilities the means to access remote areas of the outdoors, increasing their enjoyment and chance for success out in the field.
Finally, one of our local chapter members received the top National SCI Humanitarian award at this past February’s convention, the Pathfinder Award. Brian Gliba who currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado was injured while serving in Iraq in 2005 when an IED exploded in his HUMV, breaking his neck, causing spinal and brain damage, and other injuries. Wanting to support fellow veterans, he created Project Wounded Ego, an organization that provides a “psychological photography service” for wounded veterans suffering from PTSD, where photography is used as a coping mechanism. Brian has worked extensively with our Humanitarian Chair, Bob Adwar, to deliver the benefits of Project Wounded Ego to many deserving veterans.
The Denver Sables are the education arm of the Denver Chapter. This group focuses on raising funds for education programs related to conservation and the positive role of hunting. The Chapter and the Sables Committee raise money together to send at least two teachers a year to the American Wilderness Leadership Schoolnear Jackson Wyoming. This school is an 8-day hands-on course for professional development in conservation education, wildlife management current practices and the role hunting plays in sustainable game management. The teachers also study current environmental issues and impacts on wildlife. Participation in shooting sports and becoming certified to teach the successful National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) are valuable parts of the AWLS curriculum. In addition, the Sables provide the teachers attending AWLS with a Hands-On-Wildlife kit focusing on four North American mammal species to further enhance instruction when returning to the classroom.
Matching grants and youth grants are written for the Chapter and Sables by our education liaison to further stretch the dollars for education. We are a major sponsor of a college course at two Colorado Universities through WAEI (Wildland Awareness and Education Institute) which reaches 200 students per year with introduction to shooting sports, survival, North American conservation model facts and figures and related training for students entering the conservation fields as well as other careers.
The Denver Chapter also supports local Boy Scout projects including teaching firearms safety and marksmanship. These scouts reciprocate by providing our color guard at our annual fundraiser and help with the banquet set-up. A local 4-H Shooting sports program has also benefited from our donations to buy firearms for instruction in safety and marksmanship.
The Denver Sables Committee also provides opportunities for members of the chapter and friends to learn or enhance outdoor skills such as shooting sports, archery, bird hunting, and fly fishing. The Sables committee teams with the Chapter for social events for the group as well as the yearly major fundraiser banquet.