By Craig Day, The News On 6
OWASSO, OKLAHOMA -- The Great American Waterfowl Expo runs from Friday evening through Sunday at the Spirit Bank Events Center in Bixby.
The Expo is the biggest fundraiser yet to benefit a nonprofit group that makes outdoor dreams a reality for boys and girls from all over our area.
The group, called Outdoor Dreams, takes young boys and girls hunting and fishing. Ben Sewell and his dad Don have a lot of memories from those hunts.
"It was pretty awesome," said Ben Sewell.
"With Ben, I was able to go in and spend some quality time with him and really get out and enjoy the outdoors and really watch it through his eyes," Don Sewell said.
"You learn to be safe, how to be experienced," Ben said. "You get experience, plus you get to have fun."
Along with lessons about safety and sportsmanship, the goal of Outdoor Dreams is to instill a love, respect and appreciation for the outdoors. Brian Barber is the founder.
"If we can invoke some of that fun, that desire and respect of the outdoors, we know a lot of that, they'll want to do that in the future," Barber said.
Although the nonprofit is based in Owasso, it's open to any kid in the area at no cost. Sixty volunteer guides accompany the kids on their hunting and fishing trips.
"The main thing is giving them the opportunity to do things that they haven't been able to do before," Barber said.
Another goal of the organization is to foster quality family time and to build friendships with other outdoorsmen. Something Ben's dad loves about the program.
"Looking at these experiences, and these memories we've had together. I wouldn't trade that for the world," Don Sewell said.
Many of the dads and moms who accompany their kids will tell you the same thing: Outdoor Dreams creates those memories, one adventure at a time.
Proceeds from the Great American Wildlife Expo that runs Friday evening through Sunday at the Spirit Bank Events Center will help to fund activities for the year for Outdoor Dreams.
The event will feature the Duck Commander, Phil Robertson, who is like a rock star in the Duck Hunting World, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.
Robertson will also speak at a fundraising banquet for Outdoor Dreams at the First Assembly Church in Owasso Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available and cost $30.