United Special Sportsman Alliance, Inc. (USSA) is an all volunteer 501(c)(3)non-profit 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 the charity please view 'About USSA' page.
Joel Espe - Cabinet
Joel has served USSA for many years as a member, board member, vice president, president and curently chairman of the board. He has worked with government officials to change state rules that kept some of our special children out of hunting activities due to their age. Joel grew up on a farm in Northern Illinois and was All-State in two sports while in high school and also competed as a scholarship athlete at the Division 1 level. He graduated with a degree in education and went on to a successful career as a teacher and coach. His 1981 Fennimore WI Cross Country Team won their 5th consecutive State Championship (a state record) and set an all time scoring record by skunking the entire sectional competition and scoring a mere 23 points at State. He was honored with Commendations for Excellence from the Wisconsin State Senate and the White House. He later returned to college for a Masters Degree in Education Administration and retired 19 years later as a school principal.
Eleven years ago, Joel, his wife Cheri, son Jesse and daughter Brianna started raising Rocky Mountain Elk on their farm in Monticello, WI. Shortly after they started this venture, Chronic Wasting Disease appeared in Wisconsin. At a time when some government agencies were causing a panic with misinformation, Joel had researched the disease extensively and was able to public point out misconceptions at symposiums and legislative meetings. His knowledge and skills caught the attention of the Wisconsin Commercial Deer and Elk Farmers Association who voted him on their Board of Directors at the first meeting he attended. He went on to lead them as President of the state organization and helped rebuild them. At the national level, US Senator Feingold requested that Joel lead the first Summit Meeting in Washington DC for all the federal agencies. The North American Elk Breeders Association also acknowledged his achievement and after being elected to their Board of Directors, he was voted in as President the same day. He is the only Wisconsin member to ever hold that title. 2006 marked the organization of the Non-Traditional Farmers and Ranchers Coalition. This umbrella group for the deer, elk and exotic breeders was formed to protect the game farm industry from the unfair treatment by animal rights groups and government agencies. Joel was elected as its first President and has held that position ever since. In 2005, he was asked to speak at the 2nd International CWD Symposium. In 2009, USDA/Aphis requested him to also speak at the 3rd International CWD Symposium held in Utah. In the same year, US Secretary of Ag, Tom Vilsack, requested that Joel be present at a special closed door meeting in Washington as one of the top 25 leaders of livestock producers in the nation. At that meeting, Joel gave an oral and written presentation on the National Animal ID System. Joel has made regular trips to DC since 2003 and shares USSA stories with legislators about children from their own districts. He has been a featured speaker at state and national association from Texas to Alaska and always finds a way to include USSA in his presentations. In 2009, Joel formed the National Institute for Humane Slaughter. This organization conducts 3rd Party evaluations of packing plants to guarantee that animals are not abused or mistreated.
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Group Turkey Hunts - 2015
With spring fast approaching, it is time to sign up for one of USSA’s 2015 group turkey hunting events. March 20-22nd, the John Le Master’s Memorial and USSA will be holding its annual group turkey hunt for six youth with special needs near Jones, Alabama. In addition, the Shadows on the Wolf and USSA will be holding its annual group turkey hunt for ten special kids near Caroline, WI on March 27-29th. Rock River NWTF chapter and USSA will be holding its annual turkey hunt near Oregon, IL for ten special youth on April 3-5th. USSA’s Junction City Chapter will be holding their annual turkey hunt April 10-12th for eight veterans and seventeen kids and adults with special needs. Finally, the Cedar River Longbeards will be sponsoring their annual USSA turkey hunt in Stewartville, MN on May 8-10. These events all have limited enrollment, so don’t delay, sign up now! For more detailed information, please view the individual event brochures under 'Upcoming Events.' We’ll see you there!
Group Fishing Event - 2015
As the spring turkey hunts winds down; USSA fishing events kick into gear. On April 30th USSA will hold a 2 child event at Glasgow, KY. Up next, we will host a 25 family fishing trip on Guntersville, AL. USSA will then hold its annual Lake Michigan Salmon fishing event on June 12th for 18 families in Algoma, and 12 families in Port Washington on June 20th. The following week we are pleased to announce USSA will hold its inaugural New York Fishing Event for up to 15 families! Finally USSA will host its 12th annual ‘Summerfest’ event from July 16th to the 19th for up to 150 families. These events are also limited enrolment, so don’t delay and sign up as soon as possible, and mark your calendars! View the brochures under 'Upcoming Events.'
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
American Outdoor Adventure
American Outdoor Adventure is an e-magazine written solely by recipients, mentors, donors, volunteers, and staff about their participation in USSA events. Within these short stories, the writer shares their personal ‘Outdoor Adventure’ with people around the world while encouraging them to live their outdoor dream. Please feel free to submit your story and pictures by mail or email for the upcoming issue in March 2015.
Memory Lane Scrapbook
Memory Lane Scrapbook is an online Scrapbook where anyone involved with USSA can capture their special moment, and share with people around the world. You are cordially invited to submit your articles, photographs, poems, awards, and so forth for publishing by email or writing to USSA. It is truly heartwarming to remember and share the great memories we had on our journey of life.