LEEK Preserve Gears up For Blackpowder Hunt: Oswayo, PaOct 04
BY: Amber Woods, Public Affairs Officer at LEEK
Nearly everyone has suffered some type of loss in their lifetime, and those who have survived trauma or tragedy know with great compassion the importance of recovery through rest, support and friendship.
Perhaps no one knows better than the owners and volunteers at LEEK Hunting and Mountain Preserve in Oswayo, Pa, where wounded servicemen come for times of healing, and an opportunity to get away from medical facilities where they have been recovering from injuries-many of which are combat-related.
Through recreational actives, camaraderie, and a place to steal away time in the beauty of Potter County, LEEK’s mission is to give back to those who sacrificed so much for this country.
The completely volunteer-run preserve is owned by brothers Ed and Lew Fisher and their wives Kate and Elaine (their names combined formed the acronym LEEK). The family is well-known in the area as the kind-hearted folks who transformed their family-owned property into a place of refuge for injured service men.
While the Fisher’s are immensely passionate about what they do at LEEK, they’re also humble about their cause, often pointing to volunteers anytime someone attempts to thank them for what they do.
And that means if you want to truly experience the magic which takes place at LEEK preserve, you must see it with your own eyes. Fortunately there are opportunities to do that through volunteer efforts. (For those who would like more information on volunteering for upcoming events, you can visit the preserve’s website at www.leekpreserve.org).
This week volunteers are gearing up for the preserve’s annual blackpowder hunt, which will take place Oct. 19-23.
Eight veterans from different branches of the service who have served in various wars and conflicts will unite for five days of outdoor fun, relaxation and home-cooked food.
And just like every hunt which has come before at LEEK, there will be a coming- together of community and like-minded people who believe our veterans deserve the opportunity to recover in a peaceful environment amidst nature, where they can return to some of the activities they loved before they were injured, and for some of the men, even learn how to hunt or fish for the very first time.
LEEK is able to provide hunting opportunities for those with serious physical injuries through the use of retrofitted hunting blinds and wheel chairs equipped with tracks that can climb mountain-like terrain.
There’s also fishing at the Preserve’s stocked pond and there are always gifts for the warriors provided by sponsors such as Ontario Knife, the Legion Riders and Potter County Outfitters.
At the soul of LEEK’s mission is the hard work of selfless volunteers.
It takes a tremendous amount of effort to accommodate the wounded warriors, including volunteers from Oswayo United Methodist Church and Little Genesee Faith Bible Chuch, and hunting guides from Potter County and beyond.
Many local residents also donate hunting rights of their properties, allowing the warriors nearly 16,000 acres to hunt.
And though it’s often said, at LEEK, three is literally enough to feed an Army. This month that’s thanks to local residents Tammy Baker, Janene McAteer and Hedidi Turk who will provide the warriors and volunteers home-cooked meals each day.
LEEK offers hunts for wounded warriors four times each year, one of which is the annual Open House May 11-13, in which the public is encouraged to come out and see the preserve in action and meet some of the wounded warriors who will be visiting for the spring gobbler hunt.