Operation Orphans, Inc. enjoyed two more weekends of taking less fortunate children deer hunting. On December 5th, 64 boys from eight children's homes hunted on fifteen area ranches and harvested 53 animals. On December 12th, 35 boys from six homes hunted on ten ranches and harvested 24 animals. The "Take a Child Hunting" program will have its final hunt of the season January 9, 2010. During the four hunts already held this season 157 boys and girls have participated. Hunt dates for the 2010 - 2011 season will be set during an Operation Orphans, Inc. board of directors meeting, February 6, 2010.
This season is the 50th anniversary of the "Take a Child Hunting" program. Since 1960, 17,117 children have participated with a total game harvest of 16,789. A celebration to commemorate 50 years of serving children will take place at Camp Gene Ashby, March 13. Details of the event will be announced at a later date.
Homes which participated December 5 were Boys & Girls Harbor, LaPorte; Still Creek Ranch, Bryan; Methodists Home Boys Ranch, Waco; Azleway Boys Ranch, Tyler; Azleway Wilderness, Palestine; Ronnie Davis Home, Blanket; Methodist Home, Waco; and John Carl Smith Home, Mullin. Ranches hosting the hunters and their guides were Bar 7, Mason; Broken S Ranch, Mason; Farmer Ranch, Mason; Goodman Rice Ranch, Tom Green; Indian Springs Ranch, Kerr; IX Ranch, Mason; Karl Ransleben, Gillespie; Kusenberger Ranch, Gillespie; Operation Orphans Game Pasture, Mason; Patrick Loftin, Mason; Rocking M, San Saba; Schweining Ranch, Sutton; Thad Ziegler, Mason; Woelfel Ranch, Mason; and YMCA Roberts Ranch, Kerr.
Homes which took part December 12 were Constancia Home, Melvin; Boys Haven, Beaumont; Sweeten Home, Brownwood; Bates Home, Richland Springs; Collard Home, Glen Rose; and Children's Home of Lubbock, Lubbock. Ranches were Craft Assoc., Blanco; Cripple Creek, Bandera; Karl Ransleben, Gillespie; Little Paint, Kimble; Lov Kuykendall, San Saba; Northcutt Ranch, Mason; Pyle Ranch, Real; Rio Vista, Mason; Thorn Ranch, Mason; and YMCA Roberts Ranch, Kerr.
The Mason 4-H prepared sack lunches for the groups December 11th. Members participating were Lydia Bierschwale, Spencer Bierschwale, Whitt Bierschwale, Ella Canfield, Ryli Ruffin and adults assisting were Melany Canfield and Sherry Lehmberg. Fredericksburg Bakery once again provided delicious baked goods and Mason Bottling provided soft drinks for the lunches.