United Special Sportsman Alliance, Inc. (USSA) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit national wish granting charity that specializes in sending critically ill and disabled youth and disabled veterans on the outdoor adventure of their dreams! USSA adventures give our youth and veterans something to look forward to, and help sustain them in their time of need! Families are whisked away from the mundane, man-made world of hospitals, and high medical bills by giving them a place of peace to focus on the quality of life, family ties, and the wonders of our natural world! USSA is composed of a 100% volunteer staff from all walks of life, bonded together by a common love for our fellow mankind and a deep respect and appreciation of our world's natural resources. By working cooperatively with caring "Adventure" donors as well as generous individual and corporate sponsors, USSA has made a significant impact on the lives of thousands of children, disabled veterans and their families. The public's image of all sportsmen is enhanced, through this valuable community service and new lifelong friendships are made! To learn more about USSA read on.
Dean O'Brien - Minnesota State Representative
Dean has been happily married to Deb for almost 29 years with two sons 26 and 24 years old. Dean has a very close knit family with 7 brothers and sisters who have jumped on board to help him operate USSA’s MN chapter. He grew up in a construction family Columbia Heights, MN and learned to be a handyman and jack of all trades from his father. He graduated from Columbia Heights Sr. High in 1978.
He went to Anoka Technical Collage and became an auto mechanic in 1980. He worked as a mechanic and service manager until 1986. That's when he quit the auto business to stay home and raise his two sons and started up a taxidermy business.
Dean suffered a near fatal gunshot wound to the chest by another deer hunter in 1988 which made a great impact on his life. It was not long afterwards he became a hunter safety instructor.
Since April 2010 Dean O’Brien has been the USSA MN Representative. Dean has been involved with a lot of different nonprofit and charity organizations over the years. He served on the board for the MN Taxidermy Guild for the past 6 years. He started the Lakes Chapter of the MN Deer Hunters Association 19 years ago in Forest Lake. He has been President, Vice president, board member in that chapter and also a member of the Forest Lake Sportsmen's Club. Dean and friends run a mentoring program at the club teaching youth about archery. While being a Firearm Safety Instructor for almost 13 years he also teaches a class of 30 to70 kids each summer at the Forest Lake High School.
Last summer he put on his first youth event for USSA in MN. It was at the Forest Lake Sportsmen's Club where he had an attendance of 120 children plus their parents. The special kids got to shoot 22's, archery, and shotguns. Dean said,”90% of the kids never shot a gun before”. The families said it was one of the most fun events they ever experienced. There were many other attractions going on that day but that was the highlights. There was one on one instruction with every child to help them learn to shoot and be safe. The parents are also part of the events. Last fall Dean had 14 MN children bear hunting in WI; ten of them harvesting a bear. Some of the children also went on deer and turkey hunts.
Dean also took on the role of lining up taxidermists to donate free mountings for each child. Dean said, "Because many of the families know me, when the children asked me if I would do their mount for them, I couldn't let them down. I did 6 free bear mounts and 3 deer mounts so far for the kids”. Normally it can take a year to get a mount done but Dean worked late hours every day to make sure he had the mounts all done by Christmas for the kids. He delivered them just before Christmas and the kids all had a big surprise Christmas morning. Dean said, "Hopefully it put a smile on their faces and gave them some special memories”.
Dean added, "I feel most of us have years yet to live and a lot of experiences still ahead. Some of the USSA children don't. My goal is to create as many memories for the critically ill and disabled children and their families as possible in the short time some of them may have. No matter what the illness, we want to make the child be the center of attention and feel like a kid without a disability or life threatening illness. The child can forget their problems and we can also help take a little stress from the parents, even if it's for just a day”.
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2014 Summerfest Event – Resounding success!!
Many thanks to our Committee for their hard work and dedication. They did a great job of running the event and helping instill memories that will last a lifetime.
A very special thank you for the sponsors, donors, exhibitors, anglers, and Saddle Mound Cranberry Marsh who without their support this event would not be possible.
Safari Club International Foundation
Since 2000, SCI Foundation (SCIF) has provided $47 million to conservation, wildlife education, and humanitarian programs around the world. Growth of SCIF has continued to gain momentum through charitable donations from SCI members and direct grants from local chapters and the SCI organization. A recent effort that just completed its fund-raising drive is the Hunter Legacy Fund which is a dedicated funding source for wildlife conservation . This endowment was created by one hundred individuals and corporations, dedicating a pledge of $100,000 to create a $10 million endowment to ensure conservation programs of SCIF will continue long into the future. A similar effort kicked off in 2008 to create an endowment for conservation education.
With recent expenditures exceeding $5 million annually, SCI Foundation has continued to promote science-based conservation through wildlife research, capacity building in governments, youth and teacher education, and humanitarian programs which show the importance of the hunting community in society. A project nearing completion, called the "White Book", will showcase nearly 150 conservation projects where SCIF has made major contributions to the world of wildlife management.
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USSA is a registered 501(c)(3) national organization; 100% volunteer based. Your "Donation" is tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Whether you are a business, an organization, a foundation, a governmental agency, outfitter, landowner, or a private citizen looking to make a difference, USSA has an "option" to make your involvement simple AND rewarding!
Our Sponsor's dollars help USSA meet its numerous operational expenses in addition to playing a greater role in large scale group events. Sponsorship dollars also subsidize travel expenses for our "recipients" to and from the field, license fees, taxidermy expense, and game processing.
II. Donors and Partners
USSA Donors are the "field generals" of our charity. These are the people and operations that are on the front lines, donating hunting, fishing, camping, horseback riding, and water sports adventures to our nations less fortunate sportsmen and women. Our donors are a diverse group. They are our country's land owner's outfitters, preserve owners, fishing lodge owners, boat owners and campground owners to name a few examples. Without their generosity and compassion, USSA would be just another charity. If you have any "outdoor type" service you would like to offer please let us know. If you have any unique outdoor experience you would like to offer, please let us know, and we will post your special opportunity under one of our homepage adventure buttons called "Other Activities". We will then help coordinate the wish for you and your recipient.
Our USSA Partners are organizations and operations that share a common cause and philosophy about human dignity, conservation, and outdoor sports. Partners can contribute valuable services, like media and communications or intangibles like providing a united solid front on key conservation, education and sportsmanship issues. If you would like to become a partner and be listed on our web site, please contact us at: "Contact USSA"
Partner, Donor, Sponsor and Member support is essential to promoting a new era of outdoor sports for the 21st century. A united voice with ALL concerned operations and organizations is crucial to see the mission to a successful end.
If you would like to mail your donation download the Donor Form