Steve Hickoff is the Realtree Turkey Hunting Editor and Blogger. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country. It's "all turkeys, all the time" on the Realtree Turkey Blog.
Turkey Hunters Unite: Benefit for Kinsley
Kinsley Armstrong has cancer and needs our help. Over the past year, other turkey hunters, callmakers and collectors have pulled together in the fundraising effort called Benefit for Kinsley.
Let’s back up a bit. Word of Kinsley’s situation, like wild turkeys working to the call, came my way from different directions — all paths involved turkey hunters. J.J. Reich had written a feature for North American Hunter magazine and shared the piece. He encouraged us at realtree.com to consider running mention of the fundraising effort. This led me to Bob Fulcher of ShadeTree Callers who I’d met at the NWTF Annual Convention last February. During this time I’d also talked to buddy and callmaker Scott Basehore who like others had donated to the fundraising auction effort. Many others (too many to name in a blog post; my apologies to all) contributed and all of their efforts have mattered.
If you didn't see J.J. Reich's article, Kinsley’s story goes like this. In September 2011 a tumor was discovered during a routine checkup. The five-year-old was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Soon she and her parents were traveling long road miles to the hospital (200 miles round-trip), with her mother Bobbie spending nights at her bedside, and her dad Tracy also maintaining his job during this time. Many surgeries, tests and treatments followed. They continue today.
As Bob Fulcher told me this week, “The auctions are still going and people are still willing to donate stuff to help out during the family's tough times (so far $9,000 has been collected).” Donations still matter more than ever. According to Fulcher, “In a couple weeks Kinsley is going to undergo a bone marrow transplant and then start the strongest course of chemo she can have . . .” People from Hawaii to Maine have contacted him to help the Armstrong family.
If you wish to donate money, make a check payable to Tracy Armstrong and mail it to Kenny Crummett, a fellow turkey hunter who initiated the drive to help cut the family’s expenses:
498 Harvest Lane
Sugar Grove, WV 26815
Turkey calls or other item donations can be sent to Fulcher:
6605 Highbury Road
Huber Heights, OH 45424
All the auctions so far have been run on the Osage Roost turkey hunting online forum. A new auction is scheduled to start Friday, July 20 on the Osage Roost site under the section titled Benefit for Kinsley. A number of items will also be auctioned on eBay soon. “We have four hunts including black bear in New Brunswick, swan in North Carolina, pheasant in Wisconsin and even a South African safari,” says Fulcher. “We will continue to run auctions at least once a month as long as we keep getting donations.”
For more information contact Bob Fulcher at fulcherbob [at] msn [dot] com or by phone at 937-270-3299.
(Photo courtesy of J.J. Reich/the Armstrong family)