On this episode of Setter Tales we look at the second day of the Aiming for a Cure event and go behind the scenes of this great organizations charity auction. I’m Wade Kisner and I grew up hunting upland birds. Nothing’s better than chasing a couple English Setters called Sweet Lou and Adeline. Lou is a Master Hunter and Adeline is quickly learning the trade. These are some of our tales… Sweet Point’s Setter Tales is brought to you with support from our sponsors. The Aiming for a Cure Foundation was created by Steve and Jodie Ries after they lost their son, Ben, to cancer in 2005. Every March, celebrities and professional athletes take to the field with special guests at an event that helps raise awareness and money for cancer research. (Tim) 14 years ago, I am sitting in my office at Hunter Specialties in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and our receptionist calls back and says, “Tim, there’s someone here to see you.” …and at that point in time my life changed forever. Steve starts to tell me why they’re there and that was to start an event. That Ben wanted to help kids that were sick just like him and help their families to get through the situation. And that’s how it started. (Todd) The best part about Aiming for a Cure is that it is an organization solely ran by volunteers. (Jodie) So many people come together to make this event what it is. The success is in our volunteers, in our sponsors, and everybody working together for the same cause. It is a privilege for us to support this organization and the fine work they do for families and children that are dealing with cancer. We arrive early on Saturday morning for the first full day of the celebrity hunt. For those of us guiding, we prepare for two busy days working gundogs for teams and their celebrity hunter. This year I will be assisted in guiding duties by John Howard, along with his labs: Sophie and Libby; and my son Travis and his Setter, Darby. I of course have my veterans: Sweet Lou and Adeline with the rookie setters: Duchess and Major in reserve. This event can be physically demanding for both dogs and guides so younger legs and more eyes to keep a safe field is very welcome. Guys and Gals, we just wanted to thank you guys for coming out again this year. 14th annual event. This is about the children. You guys are here today to support children and families going through some difficult times. While half the teams head to the field with their guides the remaining groups take on the challenging sporting clays course. After lunch the teams will switch and the scoring from the two days is used to determine the winner. Extra dog power may be more important this year as yesterday we had the pleasure to guide a special hunt with NFL players: Brandon sheriff Matt Tobin and Austin Blythe along with a young cancer survivor. Day one morning session finds us in the field with the team that won the event last year: Hoosier Daddy; a bunch of guys from Indiana. Their celebrity hunter that’s hunting with them today is Matt Duff, former Major League pitcher and host of Major League Bowhunter TV. One might expect Lou and Addie to be tired from yesterday’s hunt… but after a good night’s rest they seem to be right back in the game. The bird action picked up fairly quick. Not a bad start to the day. We know one of the guys knocked a bird down they’re up here on the hill and it’s probably a cripple and it’s running. So the dogs are trying to track it here, and we want to find it, but sometimes you find them and sometimes you don’t. They’re a little more difficult depending on how hard the bird was hit. (Travis) Watch the dog, Dad! Wasn’t too much longer till we found it. There it is! Good dog! She winded it coming back. Good girl! Come here Addie! It’s my first time up here here in Iowa I’ve gotten to deer hunt up here in Iowa quite a bit, but I’ve never been upland bird hunting, so I’m excited. We’ve been out here for about an hour now. We’ve gotten a few birds on the ground. It’s fairly windy then we would actually like, but a lot of these birds are running I believe, so — but the dogs are working really well and we’re getting some shooting in. That’s all you can really ask, man. For great calls, and I’m just excited I was invited up. Now that we’ve pushed this first half the field we’re gonna go across and we’re gonna push this back about thirty acres back there in the back side and we’re going to push that today and work this out and then we’ll work the front end that’s back toward the truck, but put them across the creek right now We’re gonna hit this area back here. In the back field the birds seem to be doing the same thing with some running while a few held tight. Dave, just walk right in front of Lou. Right in front of him. Right in front of him. Kick around in there, make some noise. Walk right in there, charge right in there. Whoa Lou, whoa Lou. Kick around… Okay, I’m gonna let him go so you just stay right with Lou, all right? Lou hunt! Stay with him, stay with him. Okay, he says it’s right here guys. Lou hunt. Lou hunt! He says, “I am hunting. It’s right here!” Where is it? Find it. Find it. Where is it? Where is it? Find it. He says it’s right here, Dave. Right there. Right there! It’s right in front of his head! Right there! Whoa…. Walk right in there and kick right in that grass. Right there. Oh nice! Good shot. Nice job! Now you know what it’s like and what to do. There it is. Rooster! Nice shot Matt!
Thank you. Nice job, man!
Right there for you. (Matt) Had to wait a little bit.
(Wade) That’s alright! You had plenty of time. (Matt) Yeah, yeah
(Wade) That’s the thing on these birds, a lot of times the guys shoot too quick. You just got plenty of time… reached up there… that was beautiful. Alright, let’s just keep moving toward the timber. Simultaneously a second bird ran up alongside our line. Right here!
(Wade) Okay, he’s got it right in front of Dave. Kick at it! Kick that girl up. Get up!
Get up. How old is Louie? He’s nine. This is our eighth year we’ve been down here. Yeah, come up on that edge just a little bit. The Yellow Lab will bust em’ in that pass. It’s heading toward the fence. Really?
Kick him out. Hold on, I’ll kick it out… Good shot! Come on! This is gonna be a good retrieve here. Here. Heel. Heel. Good boy. Good job, Lou. I told you there might be another one in here. Dead bird! There might be another one here… While they hunt it out here…
Dead bird. Oh nice! I knew there’d be another one there. Alright hey guys kind of walk through here again. Kind of walk through this again. Look! That’s another one! That’s a different bird there! With that we headed back to the lodge for lunch After lunch, and photos, we gathered up our second group for the afternoon session. This year we have Nelson Electric and their celebrity: Hall of Fame quarterback, Jim Kelly. The birds are running, but we get kind of a mixed bag this morning. Some would run and some of them would bury in there. We could stand on top of them before they came out flush. So, we’ll probably see it mix bag today. Shortly into the second session Adaline gave Jim Kelly an up-close-and-personal shooting opportunity. Right where her head’s looking. Walk in there, right there. Yeah. They were buried in there this morning. Whoo! Yeah baby! Come on Addie. Come on.
You’ll get that bird?
Yeah. Yup. Libby’s pointing… Nice shot. The day warmed up… then so did the birds! Getting a little warm now! Whoo. That rooster has got the band on it.
That’s pretty. Rooster! After a long day it was time to call it quits. I’ve been involved with Aiming for a Cure since the start. 14 years ago I actually guided the first three years. I’ve known Steve and Jodie Ries quite a long time. I had the luxury of knowing Ben Ries. It’s just a great thing what they do for the kids. All the money goes to the bottom. There’s nobody that takes any salary out of it. All the money goes to where it needs to go.
It’s all about the kids. It doesn’t have anything to do with win the hunt, don’t win the hunt. It’s all about giving back to the kids. At the end of the day we headed over to the banquet and charity auction. We checked out some fantastic items that were going to be put up for sale. After some quick browsing the banquet begins and a testimony of how the organization originated. Ben Ries was just seven years old. Just about to finish first grade and on April 28th of 2000 Ben Ries, his parents Steve and Jodie, and big sister Rachel… Found out that life was never going to be the same again. I have been to every event ever since it started. To be a part of a charity that is doing things to help those people, help those families, and support those families and the kids… I mean you couldn’t have a better… better cause to be a part of, so that’s really the number one thing I brings me back every year. It’s just a pleasure to be able to be here and do what I can. From the stories over the years that you hear from the families that get them speak these unbelievable stories that they tell, they get up there and then speak to everybody there and just say what a devastating thing was to hear that news that that they have a child that’s ill… (Todd) You know, when you attend one of our events and start to see some of the unique things that we do that… You know there’s the research part that we help fund. When we talk about the really unique things such as paying for someone’s funeral or paying for a sibling to come visit a loved one before they pass that starts to really tug at the hearts and Those are the kind of things that are unique that I’m not sure a lot of charities cover. There’s lots of different things that come: gift cards baskets… Aiming for a Cure… was there. (Jodie) I think when you start something you just you don’t realize… I mean, you you don’t realize that it could keep going for 14 years and because of the support of our sponsors and volunteers and just everybody wanted to help the kids. I think it’s just made it all possible. I consider Steve and Jodie Ries inspirational heroes of mine. I watched them share on numerous events the story of Ben and you think about all the positive memories they have of Ben and unfortunately the part that they share is the part that goes through the hospital. Every time I watch them share that I think there’s just a little piece of them That goes back to those days and probably not necessarily fond memories, and What I find unbelievable, inspirational to me is that they’re doing that in hopes that somebody else doesn’t have to go through the same thing. It’s something I don’t know that many of us will ever understand. We always have to keep in mind one thing. There’s a little boy named Ben Ries and… We haven’t had him around for several years now, and it was his dream. Our organization has always kept that in mind. I think Ben just… was somebody who at an early age just wanted to help others. Even before he was sick. You know, he just always had such a caring heart. The first full day of the Aiming for a Cure Foundation Celebrity Hunt has come to an end. The two hunting sessions were full of action and we enjoyed sharing the field with a great group of guys that want only the best for all kids and their families battling cancer. Travis, John, and I all feel great satisfaction knowing our dogs work hard to provide a wonderful day for all the hunters. We are all very proud to be a part of this annual hunt and share our dogs to make life better for kids in need. (Tim) Being involved with this organization is like the coolest thing ever. To find out how you can become involved in this important mission visit aimingforacure.com Thanks to the aiming for the Cure Foundation for bringing us all together and making some memories in the field. Hi, I’m Wade Kistner with Sweet Point’s Setter Tales. Do you have an interesting story idea for a future episode? We’d love to hear about it! Drop us a line at sweetpointsetters.com You