Chamber hears about youth hunt organization

Published 4:36 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2018

COLUMBIANA – Kidz Outdoors helps children with terminal illnesses feel normal if only for a moment.

Attendees of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 1, learned about the organization from local resident Shawn Callahan.

After a video was shown with images from excursions Kidz Outdoors has provided, Callahan introduced the organization’s founders, Rick and Carol Clark, who were in attendance.

“What makes this organization is the people behind it,” Callahan said. “Rick and Carol spend their time making kids’ dreams come true.”

Callahan told the story of a child named Luke who developed a brain tumor. Through Kidz Outdoors, Luke went hunting and killed a 156-inch buck on property owned by Callahan.

Rick Clark modified a special apparatus that allowed Luke to fire a shot using a squeeze ball.

“It was that day we realized exactly what Kidz Outdoors was,” said Callahan, who has since become a supporter of the organization after seeing Luke’s father hug him and tell him how proud he was.

Callahan said he intended to sell his hunting property near the Shelby County Airport but instead has committed to using it for Kidz Outdoors hunts.

“God showed me that day what the plan was for that property,” he said.

Callahan was overcome by emotion while telling the stories of Luke and Will, who had another set of challenges related to T-cell lymphoma.

“It’s an impossibility to talk about these kids without acting like I do,” he said. “They’re way more of a blessing to us than we could ever be to them. They change our life.”

Hueytown-based Kidz Outdoors provides adult-mentored outdoor youth hunts and fishing events at no charge to families.

“It’s a mental medicine that we can’t explain,” Callahan said.

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