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 Winner – Marcus Steury
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:
2018 Pathfinder Award Winner – Cory McGregor
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.
2017 Pathfinder Award Winner – Matt Cole
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.
2016 Pathfinder Award Winner – Ashlee Lundvall
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.
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.
For more information, contact Kathy Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call direct (520) 798-4892.
Since 2000, the SCI Foundation has provided more than $80 million to promote science-based conservation through wildlife research, capacity building in governments, youth and teacher education, and humanitarian programs that show the importance of the hunting community in society around the world. Growth of SCI Foundation has continued to gain momentum through charitable donations from SCI members and direct grants from local chapters and the SCI organization. Throughout the world, SCI’s approximately 50,000 members and 190 chapters contribute time, talent, and financial support to local, national, and international projects.