A group of pheasant hunters in mid-Michigan banded together to organize a charity hunt in honor of Vietnam veteran Bob Brinker. The proceeds from the event benefitted veterans and children with neuroblastoma.
The hunt took place at Rooster Ranch, a family-owned wildlife habitat that encompasses more than 1,000 acres of prime pheasant land in the thumb of Michigan. The ranch has operated for more than 30 seasons of game-bird hunting and features 11 different hunting farms, all with their own unique character, comprising of dwarf grain sorghum, corn strips, grass fields, orchards, hedgerows and wood lots.
The ranch features a number of different options, including pheasant, mallard duck and European-style hunts, in addition to cleaning services, gear purchases, overnight lodging and ranch memberships.
The ranch makes charity events possible through a fundraising program that allows groups to design hunts that benefit causes important to them. When booking through Rooster Ranch, the lodge will give 20 percent of their profit to the charity group being supported in the hunt. The per-person price of a fundraising hunt at Rooster Ranch is $250, and $50 of each per-person fee goes to support charities.
The ranch requires hunt groups ranging from 20-76 people, allowing charities to gain anywhere from $1,000 to $3,800. In return, hunters get 10 birds released per person in a European-style hunt, along with a continental breakfast, lunch, clay target shoot, wobble trap, walk-up hunt with dogs and all birds cleaned.
The hunt was inspired by 11-year-old Joey Brinker, Bob Brinker’s grandson, along with 13-year-old Mark Anthony and 12-year-old Gianni Fratarcangeli. Anthony’s and Fratarcangeli’s cousin, Eyan Konal, suffered from neuroblastoma, and the kids thought that the hunt would be a great way to give back. Together, the 22-person group raised a total of $1,100 that was split between two charities. GT Technologies, a tier one engine valvetrain supplier based in Westland, MI, also sponsored a portion of the hunt.
Bob Brinker passed away in June 2015, and his family works to continue his legacy of assisting his fellow veterans through the Bob Brinker Memorial Veterans Foundation. The organization has raised thousands of dollars for Vets Returning Home, TACOM’s Adopt-a-Soldier program and to purchase Christmas gifts for homeless veterans.
The event also benefitted the Band of Parents organization, a non-profit group that focuses on funding new therapies for the treatment of neuroblastoma, based at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
The Brinker family plans to organize an annual hunt that continues to benefit the Bob Brinker Memorial Veterans Foundation. To donate or join a hunt, contact the foundation at BobBrinkerMemorial.org.