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Pathfinder Award

Each year, Pathfinder Award winners are selected from among nominations submitted by SCI Chapters and individuals. The award winners are honored during a SCI Convention evening event for their life achievements demonstrating their ability to overcome disabling obstacles while remaining engaged in outdoor activities, helping their community and inspiring others. The winners of this prestigious award receive an all-expense paid safari to Africa for themselves and a caretaker.

 

The SCI Foundation Pathfinder program also provides funding to SCI Chapters in support of their activities that engage disabled, terminally ill, wounded military and veterans in outdoor activities. Often, the reintroduction to nature and hunting helps these hunters find their way to adapt to their life changes and challenges.

2019 Pathfinder Award Recipient to Go on a South African Hunt-of-a Life-time

Marcus Steury was chosen from a competitive selection process by the SCIF Pathfinder Committee as this year’s Pathfinder Award recipient for the work he does to help other disabled individuals while continuing his passion for the outdoors and love of hunting.  He will be honored with this prestigious award at the 6th Annual Beretta and SCI Foundation Conservation Leadership Award Gala located at the Peppermill Hotel Casino on Tuesday, February 4, 2020.

 

Marcus Steury was born and raised in Hicksville, Ohio, a small town of about 3000 people in Northwest Ohio.  Born with spina bifida myelomeningocele, Marcus underwent 14 surgeries before the age of 2.  Marcus has never been able to walk, but that didn’t slow him down.  He got his first wheelchair at age 5.

 

Marcus graduated fifth in his high school class and obtained an associate degree in Computer Aided Drafting and Manufacturing.  Marcus currently works full time as an Engineering Technician for a company that manufactures orthopedic instruments and implants.  One of the best parts of his job is knowing that the products he helps to make end up directly helping other people in their time of need.

 

Marcus has always enjoyed spending time outdoors, and enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, and exploring God’s beautiful creation.  Having grown up in a family that enjoyed hunting, Marcus was encouraged to try hunting as well, despite the extra challenges that disabled people face outdoors.  He has been blessed to harvest several deer in his lifetime, including whitetail deer from three different states (Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin).

 

Marcus married his beautiful wife Lindsey in September 2013, and they currently reside in Hicksville.  Marcus and Lindsey volunteer with Hunters Helping Hunters, a local non-profit that provides hunting and fishing opportunities to physically challenged or seriously ill adults and children.  Marcus began as a hunter with Hunters Helping Hunters, and after a few hunts decided to see how he could help serve the organization.  Along with his father, Marcus designed wheelchair accessible elevated hunting blinds for Hunters Helping Hunters to improve the opportunity and comfort for their hunters.  Hunters Helping Hunters has constructed more than 10 of these types of blinds used by their hunters each year.  Marcus now serves on the Board of Directors of Hunters Helping Hunters.

 

Marcus is also active in the church he attends and has served on the leadership team for three years.  His faith in God has been most important in maintaining a positive attitude despite the daily struggles of life confined to a wheelchair and encouraging others as they face obstacles in their lives.

 

SCI Foundation thanks its long-time, dedicated donors who support the Pathfinder Award making this once-in-a-lifetime South African hunt possible:

 

Past Recipients

SCI Foundation Announces 2018 Pathfinder Award Winner

Friday evening, January 11, 2019 one remarkable hunter, Cory McGregor will be awarded the SCI Foundation Pathfinder Award.  A Pathfinder is “one that finds a way or finds a new route”.  SCI Foundation Pathfinders are people who are faced with challenges in life that causes them to find new ways to live and to overcome the challenge of being engaged in outdoor activities. These hunters also give of their time to help their community and promote hunting for other disabled hunters.

 

This year’s Pathfinder Award winner Corey McGregor was an active hunter when in May of 2001 he was injured in a single vehicle rollover on a backcountry road near his parent’s home in Clark, Wyoming.  He was ejected from the truck resulting in fractured vertebrae at C5, C6, L4, and T0 and T10, where his spinal cord was also severed.  He completed his rehabilitation in July of 2001, and that fall was back to hunting.

Corey helped co-found Wyoming Disabled Hunters (WDH) in 2008 helping disabled hunters to enjoy an affordable hunt and organizes opportunities for disabled hunters to reaffirm their ability to provide for their family while building friendships with other motivated people.  Corey continues to lead in the role of president with the support of ten board members.

 

Countless disabled hunters have benefited from Corey’s organizational and hunt coordinator efforts.  Over and over, hunters talk about Corey’s endless energy and abilities that overcome his paralysis as an inspiration.  Corey is in constant motion with one project or another.  Many of these projects, such as cutting and splitting wood, running heavy equipment, and farming for his in-laws, are not typical projects for a paralyzed person.

 

Corey serves as an advocate to the public for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  He helps to educate contractors, business owners, and city councils regarding the requirements of the ADA and the needs of disabled customers.  Corey is also involved in supporting the National AgrAbility Project which assists farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers living with a disability.

 

Corey’s own independence spills over to help him teach other disabled friends and consumers that disability is no barrier at all, if you are willing to climb!

 

The SCI Foundation Pathfinder program also provides funding to SCI Chapters in support of their activities that engage disabled, terminally ill, wounded military and veterans in outdoor activities. Often, the reintroduction to nature and hunting helps these hunters find their way to adapt to their life changes and challenges.

SCI Foundation Announces 2017 Pathfinder Award Winner

Matt Cole served in the Marine Corps from 1999 to 2006 with a combined 4 years of active duty and 2 years reserve.  He was a Crew chief of an Amphibious Assault Vehicle, commonly known as an “AMTRAK”.  On May 17th 2005, while on his second tour in Iraq, Matt was wounded in action resulting in a spinal cord injury at T-8. After rehabilitation, Matt returned home to Louisiana and was medically retired in 2006. He then began helping other disabled veterans by volunteering with Support our War Heroes Foundation, which aids severely injured Post 9/11 veterans through advocacy and financial assistance as well as honoring those who were killed in action and Wounded War Heroes of America, which helps heal disabled combat veterans mentally and physically through outdoor recreational activities. In addition to volunteering, Matt worked for the Louisiana Dept. of Veterans Affairs as a Veterans Assistance Counselor.

 

Matt’s work with nonprofit foundations and as a veterans service officer earned him Louisiana Veteran of the Year in 2012, the 2013 Southeast Louisiana VSO of the year and 2013 ACTIVE Partnership Disabled Employee of the year. He has also received awards and recognition from the American Legion and Vietnam Veterans of America. In addition to helping veterans, Matt serves as a Deacon at his church and regularly speaks at schools and community events. Matt enjoys hunting, fishing, marksmanship activities and spending time with his wife and three kids.

SCI Foundation Announces 2016 Pathfinder Award Winner

Ashlee Lundvall was an active teenager and four-sport athlete when she was injured in a ranching accident in 1999 while attending a youth camp in Wyoming. A tragic fall on to the wooden handle of a pitchfork blew out her back at T-12, resulting in a complete spinal cord injury and the introduction of a wheelchair to her life. After returning home to Indiana to finish her rehabilitation, Ashlee graduated from IUPUI in 2005 with a BS in Public Affairs, and completed her graduate studies in Biblical Counseling in 2007.

 

In 2007, Ashlee moved to Wyoming with her husband, Russ. She quickly immersed herself in the amazing outdoor adventures provided by the mountainous region, and in 2008 helped found Wyoming Disabled Hunters. Besides hunting, Ashlee loves fly fishing, camping, four-wheeling, kayaking, hand cycling, and tearing around in her Action Track Chair. She also enjoys passing on her love for the outdoors to her daughter, Addison, who was born in 2010.

 

Ashlee’s speaking career was reborn when she was crowned Ms. Wheelchair USA in 2013, and in 2015, she was given the Wyoming Trustee Award. Her first book, A Redefined Life, was released in February of 2016, and she was recently invited to join the National Pro Staff for Mossy Oak and the NRA’s Disabled Shooting Sports committee.

 

Ashlee truly shines as a keynote speaker at outdoor industry and disability related events and conferences. She is passionate about mentoring newly injured patients, and loves to pass on her love for adapted outdoor recreation!

Application

A Pathfinder is “one that finds a way or finds a new route.”

 

SCI Foundation Pathfinders are people who are faced with challenges in life that causes them to find new ways to live and to overcome the challenge of being engaged in outdoor activities. These hunters also give of their time to help their community and promote hunting for other disabled hunters.

 

The SCI Foundation Pathfinder program provides funding to SCI Chapters in support of their activities that engage disabled, terminally ill, wounded military and veterans who are hunters into the outdoors. Often, the reintroduction to nature and hunting helps these hunters to find their way to adapt to their life changes and challenges and helping others along the way.

 

Pathfinder Award Announcement

 

Pathfinder Award Application

 

For more information, contact Kathy Butler at kbutler@safariclub.org, or call direct (520) 798-4892.