Ministry to bring hunting event for people with disabilities to county

Published 9:37 am Monday, August 31, 2015

Hope Outdoors is coming to Warren County for the first time to spread its ministry through an outdoor hunting event for people with disabilities.

“It’s a non-denominational Christian ministry and it’s designed to take handicapped, disabled people on hunting, fishing — outdoors-type trips,” organizer Randy Rippy said. “The main purpose of it is the ministry.”

The non-profit group has about nine chapters nationally and uses hunting and fishing to reach out to people who have gone through an obstacle in their lives. Whether they were born with a disability, gone through a critical illness or experienced an accident, they can apply to attend a weekend of fellowship with speakers and activities.

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The first local Hope Outdoors weekend will take place during deer season on Dec. 4 and 5. Participants will also be encouraged to attend church at Bovina Baptist Church on Dec. 6.

There are 15 spots available in total, not including the participant’s families who can also join the hunt. In all, about 200 to 250 people will be present during the weekend. Participants will come from far and near, with someone from Florida having already applied to attend.

“We will go through the applications as we get them and make sure that we have the means to accommodate everybody,” Randy said.

Not all family members want to join the hunt, and organizer Doris Rippy is making sure they have something to do while the hunters are gone.

“We are planning actually to have activities for some of the family that don’t go hunting,” Doris said.

Participants will stay in a local hotel free of charge. The entire weekend will cost the organization about $440 per family for food and accommodations.

“It’s all free for them,” Doris said.

Hope Outdoors is possible because of donations and will have a fundraiser at Newk’s Eatery on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 5-8 p.m. Organizers are also planning a gun raffle and to sell T-shirts in the near future.

Richard Heuer has signed on to speak to the hunters and participate in the weekend. His neck was broken in an accident where he tried to help a group who ran over a deer and the deer ran into him.

“He’s a quadriplegic now, and he’s actually in a wheelchair,” Randy said. “We started hunting with him about four years ago.”

Three years ago, Heuer killed his first deer since the accident.

The Rippys say it is amazing to see people who have gone through hard times realize they can still participate some of the activities they use to enjoy.

Doris loves to see the smiles on people’s faces and to watch them interact and sing with each other.

She said it is a wonderful experience and she wants to share with others.

The Rippys have been attending Hope Outdoors events in Wiggins for years with their son Pat Scallions. When they went to their first outdoor weekend, they had not been going church regularly, but it changed their lives.

“Hopefully, if there is anybody that’s lost and attends the hunt, maybe we can make a difference in their lives,” Randy said.

The family has been talking about bringing the organization to the area for years and has gotten the resources together to make that dream a reality this year.

“When we came back this year, when we went, on the way back up we had said it was something that we want to do, just like we had before, but this time it was different. It was God’s time and so it just has fallen into place,” Doris said.

She said many people have volunteered their land, but now the organization is in need of volunteers to help throughout the weekend setting up, cooking, taking out the trash and more.

“I don’t think you can have enough volunteers,” Doris said.

Applications for the event can be found at For more information, visit their Facebook page Hope Outdoors Warren County, or call Randy at 601-529-5804 and Doris at 601-618-7447.