Come check out some of our visitors and their testimonials.
Mitchell, Kevin, Valorie, Peter and Rachel Schmitt
Dear Larry, Lorri & Kippenberg Creek Kids,
Where do we begin to express our sincere thanks to you for providing Mitchell and our family with an unforgettable experience? We truly believe that you are angels on earth, and that we have been blessed to have the opportunity to encounter everyone involved with Kippenberg Creek Kids.
When the phone call from the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital came asking Mitchell if he would like to go on a black bear hunt in Northern Wisconsin in late September, we were amazed that someone would offer such a trip. Since Mitchell enjoys hunting and fishing and the outdoors, we eagerly accepted and the excitement began. We were telling all of our friends, hunters and non-hunters alike, about the trip. The more we talked about it, the more excited we became.
When the trip finally arrived, and we made our way to Gleason, WI, we weren’t sure what to expect. But when we arrived and met Larry & Lorri, we quickly learned that we were in good hands and could relax and enjoy a weekend of not worrying about a thing. As the weekend went on, and we learned how KCK came about, we gained a great appreciation for what you have done and continue do. We believe that what we do for others is the true measure of who we are. By that standard, you guys are the best.
Your hospitality was overwhelming. From Lorri’s meals, setting up the bear hunt, taking us on the hound hunts and just being who you are, we had a great time. Our experience would not have been any less if Mitchell wouldn’t have gotten a bear, but since he did, it made the weekend absolutely perfect.
Thanks again for all you have done. We look forward to seeing you again soon and we are especially looking forward to seeing you in June at the open house. We continue to pray that Mitchell’s leukemia is held in remission and that his eventual bone marrow transplant gives him a cure.
If there is anything we can do for you or KCK, please don’t hesitate to ask as we would be more than willing to help.
Very truly yours,
Mitchell, Kevin, Valorie, Peter and Rachel Schmitt
P.S. If you want to follow Mitchell health status, you can log on to www.carepages.com and visit his care page, which is mitchmitty.
This is an email received on November 9th…..
hello, i am sorry to say that i am writing with bad news only. meg has lost her battle with leukemia on thursday nov. 8. i cant beleive its true i not only lost a daughter but i lost my best friend. the only good thing is that she got to go to montana and come out there and met all of you and got her bear. i only wish she could have seen her bear rug, but im sure that some how she’ll see it. thank you all for everything you have done to make her so happy. her funeral will be sunday afternoon and monday morning.
Keep in touch. Thank you so much.
Hi Larry & Lori!
We all want to thank you so much for everything you’ve done for not just Meg, but all of us have loved the entire hunt!! What you do for kids is great!! I hope you continue to do all of it in some way.
Mike Foss was great!! A real nice guy, and a lot of fun too & of course not as good looking as you.
We all can’t wait to come over in June for your fund raiser. You’ll have to save some really good jobs for us to handle.
Thank you guys so much!!! I’m still doing some campaigning for you so hopefully it get something going.
Larry and Lori,
This is Megan here and I just wanted to THANK YOU so much for all you have done for me and David. You let me come on the turkey hunt with David (Ginny pig) and you were going to let me come bear hunting with you but then things changed but you still found a place were I could go bear hunting because there was an opening. You also let David come back and go bear hunting with you and he even got to use the dogs. (cool beans) But this way I guess I got to meet another crazy hunter guy (just kidding he wasn’t crazy) and I still got to have fun and go hunting and get a bear. I also got to meet a whole bunch of new people. I don’t know if they told you but my bear weighed 155 pounds after being gutted out and I kept his swizzle stick just for jokes. But now I want to come and see you in Alaska if all goes good and I want to go moose hunting. David can come with if he wants and you let him. Otherwise we’ll be coming to see you next June for the big party and we’ll have the Krebs with us. So I’m excited for that Plus Ill get to come and see you guys and talk about our new hunting adventures that we’ve had over the last few months and deer season is coming up. Also me, Sheila, her boyfriend Orin and my cousin Travis are probably going to go squirrel, coon, skunk, and Porcupine hunting just for the heck of it plus we like hunting so you might here some crazy stories there if we get the chance to go. But I guess I’ll talk to you soon!!
Elaine, Neal Schere Brandon, Brittany, Daylon Tillman
Dear Larry and Lorri,
It has been the most special memories that we have shared over the past few weeks since we have returned from Kippenberg Creek Kids.
We just will never forget our time in Wisconsin and all that you did to give us a vacation of a lifetime. Brittany has had more smiles since she has returned and we can talk about our time there and the wonderful things we had a chance to do.
The effort you put into special joyful vacations at the lodge gives kids and our family a lifetime treasury of memories to draw on.
Please let the board know how much it meant for our family to have this opportunity and chance of a lifetime. Thank you for giving our family a time to relax and enjoy each other and leave the cares of the medical world behind.
By the time you have received this, we have returned from a dream trip to the Northern Woods of Wisconsin. We were invited to a place called Kippenberg Creek Kids, nestled along the Prairie River, a premier trout stream in central Wisconsin. Kippenberg Creek is a nonprofit organization that provides hunting trips, fishing trips, snowmobile outings and other activities for children with life-threatening illnesses and developmental disabilities. The adventures are provided with food and lodging included all at no cost to the children and their families.
Brittany my daughter has cerebral palsy. She received the dream trip of her lifetime when we were able to travel to Wisconsin and be a part of the outdoor adventure that would give her a lifetime of memories. During our trip there, we experienced the warmth and compassion of the owners of Kippenberg Creek Kids, Larry and Lorri Beyer. Brittany was able to spend time boating on the Wisconsin River, dishing at the nearby Prairie River, taking a ride through the woods in a horse and Buggy, visiting the small towns nearby, taking walks in the woods, eating cheese curds, and the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the FuddFest country music festival.
While at the music festival, she had the chance to meet Shania Twin (Donna Huber) who signed her autograph for Brittany, was invited to be onstage with her while she sang all of Shania Twain’s songs. Brittany loves Shania Twain and her music and since this was probably the most possible chance to be close to someone who was so much like Shania Twain. She had the chance to be close to stage to hear Mark Chestnut, Trick Pony, and caught a guitar pick thrown to her by Blackhawk. Brittany was having the time of her life and as a family, we were all enjoying a vacation and a get-away in the North Woods of Wisconsin.
This trip was a joy and dream for our family too. We were able to relax, put things into perspective as a family, move our thoughts away from work, responsibilities, doctors, therapists, treatments, and for once enjoy life and each other. Often times we get mired in negativity and challenges of caring for a family member with a developmental disability and this trip gave us the change, the joy, and the direction we needed to scale the mountains before us. Thank you so much to Kippenberg Creek Kids for allowing us this lifetime opportunity as you are a champion to our family and to many families.
The real world could use more Larry and Lorri Beyer’s and Kippenberg Creek Kids!
Thanks you for everything!
Elaine, Neal Schere
Brandon, Brittany, Daylon Tillman
Handicap Bear Hunt
September 16th, my dad and I woke at 3:45 am to begin my first bear hunt. Larry and Lorri Beyer from Kippenberg Creek Kids told us we needed to leave by 4:30 am to meet Dan, in Merrill. From that point, we had to travel another hour north to Ted and Dawn Thums.
Dawn Thums gave me a great gift, her bear tag for the season. We got there a little before sunrise. Ted, Dawn and the rest of the crew were loading the dogs and getting the trucks ready. Dad and I traveled with Ted Thums to the first bate station where they let some dogs out and the hunt began.
It was fun to learn how they kept track of the dogs knowing where they were at all times. We kept working with the dogs until about 8:30-9:00 am. At that time, we finally had a bear treed. Then it started to rain.
We drove back into the wooded area as far as we could. Then we had to walk the rest of the way to find the bear. I have a brain tumor, three-brain aneurysm, my left side of my body is very weak, and I have lost most of my vision in my right eye. Even with my leg brace on I had a very difficult time walking back to the treed bear. At first, my dad carried me on his back while the others cleared the path. My weak arm got tired of holding onto my dad, so I had to try to walk the rest of the way. We knew we were getting closer because the dogs were getting louder. It was really hard walking through the thick brush. I had my dad and Ted holding me under each arm helping me balance my way through the woods. All while the others in the hunt party were moving logs, branches, and brush out of the way.
Finally, we got to the tree that had the bear in it. The dogs were going nuts. Everyone helped find a spot for me to sit and cleared out a shooting lane. First, they had to get a hold of the dogs and tie them so they would not get hurt once I shot the bear.
They had me sit on the ground while the got the gun ready. At this time, I was getting very nervous and excited. My weakness made it difficult for me to hold the gun. So, my dad had to sit nest to me to help hold the gun while I got the bear in the scope. The rain coming down made it even more challenging to see. Once we scoped the bear, I pulled the trigger. I hit the bear making it do a double back flip out of the tree falling to the ground. We waited a few minutes before finding the bear about 30 yards from where it went down. We all got together for pictures.
We used four-wheelers to get the bear and I out of the woods. I was so exhausted that I slept just about the whole way back to Kippenberg Creek Kids.
I would like to thank Dawn and Ted Thums along with Kippenberg Creek Kids. This was a hunt of a lifetime for me. I will never forget such an experience.
Warmest Regards, The Celik Family
Thank you so much for the wonderful time you and Kippenberg Creek Kids gave Jason and our family. From the moment we arrived we were treated with kindness and hospitality. The lodge was great and had all the comforts and amenities of home. The view from the kitchen window alone was beautiful and quite different from what were used to. The fishing trip was a success and Jason was thrilled to have caught so many fish. Thanks for going out of your way to make sure Jason had fun and for the delicious picnic dinner. The lake was scenic and enabled our family to spend quality time together in a relaxing and serene environment (Just what we needed!!). The A.T.V. riding was also a new and fantastic experience for us. The Harrison A.T.V. Club went out of their way to make sure Jason was safe & comfortable riding and that we all had a good time. They took care of every detail and are truly nice people. The barbecue was very thoughtful and we have found memories of all of them. Please thank the ladies and their families that sent over supper to the lodge. It was very gracious of them and we appreciated that also. In closing I would like to again thank Kippenberg Creek Kids for this wonderful fishing trip and outdoor experience. Without you and your supporters this trip would not have been possible. It was a Terrific Trip and it was a pleasure to see the state of Wisconsin and the friendly and welcoming people we met.
Warmest Regards, The Celik Family
Tyson’s Bear Hunt
Our son Tyson, who has cerebral palsy, was invited to KCK for a bear hunt. Larry contacted us around January of this year and asked if Tyson would be interested in going bear hunting. Needless to say, Tyson was very excited about the idea. The only problem was that Tyson was having surgery in February and we were not sure how long his recovery would take. We kept in contact with Larry, and when we knew for sure Tyson could participate in the hunt, Larry took care of the rest.
We arrived on Friday afternoon, 9/15/2006, and met Steve and his son Brent who were there for a bear hunt too. Soon Larry and Lorri were there to greet us; they always make you feel welcome. A short time later we met Bill Prening Sr. and his son Bill Prening Jr. They are the wonderful people that donated the bear tag for Tyson. They are both experienced bear hunters, but had never hunted bear using dogs, they wanted to see how it was done and they wanted to meet Tyson. Soon the stories were coming fast and furious. You could tell that Tyson was getting nervous and excited about going on the hunt the next day.
4:30 am came around really quickly. Normally Tyson is not the easiest person to get going in the morning, but not today. He woke up and got himself ready to go in record time, had a quick bite to eat and said, “Are we ready to go yet.” When we went outside just before day break, we met a lot of guys that were waiting for us. I know that I can’t remember all of their names, but they were there to help Tyson get his bear. We all loaded up in trucks and headed out to a farm where they had permission to hunt, that wasn’t far from the lodge. The first truck stopped and let the farmer know we were going to be out in his field, and then our convoy moved out to a huge corn field. This is where we started our first bear hunt.
We parked our trucks and a few guys got a couple of their dogs ready to go. They walked to the end of the field looking for some fresh bear tracks, and they found them. The chase was on. You could hear the dogs hot on the trail of something. Larry told me you can tell by the way they bark if they are close to a bear or not. I also learned that the dog owners could tell which dog was theirs just by their bark. I was very impressed! These men must spend a lot of time with their dogs.
Indeed we did have a bear on the run. Larry, Tyson, and I headed out to the next cross road to see if we could tell where the bear was by listening for the dogs. When we got to a spot on the road that Larry thought the bear might cross, we stopped and listened. We were not there more than five minutes, when Larry said it sounded like the dogs were heading straight for us, he was right. Here came out this beautiful black bear and two dogs were in hot pursuit. Tyson’s eyes were wide open. He said, “Did you see that Dad, my heart is just pounding!” I put my hand on his chest and he was right, his heart was racing like a freight train. The bear was across the road in about four leaps it seemed. Larry even was excited and said that was a nice bear. The rest of the guys came there in about two minutes after the bear crossed. They got out two or three more dogs and turned them loose to join in on the chase.
We monitored the dogs through tracking collars and radios. We got to the next spot that we thought the bear might cross and tried to get Tyson in an area for him to get a shot at it. Bill Jr. was with us and was very helpful with Tyson. When we needed to move farther ahead, Bill Jr. picked Tyson up over his shoulder and away he ran. Unfortunately the bear would not come where we thought it would.
The chase continued the rest of the day, through rain and lightening, through swamps and thickets and everywhere else that bear could run. Tyson was carried around by several different people and on four-wheeler, in hopes that we could get him into a spot for him to get a shot. He saw the bear three times, but never long enough to get set up for a good shot.
Through the evening’s conversations, I learned that there was much more to this hunt than just a bear for Tyson. Bill Sr. told us about his son, Marine Cpl. Brain Prening, and how he died in a fire fight in Iraq on Nov. 12, 2004, and how Brain too was an avid bear hunter along with his father and his twin brother Bill Jr. Bill stated that this all started with a simple question to the Bear Hunter Assoc. about what would happen with the preference points that Brain had earned toward his next bear hunt. With their help, and help from other families that had the same question, a bill was proposed and passed, and was the first bill that was signed into law this year by Gov. Jim Doyle. The new law allowed the family of a deceased person to transfer the persons’ points to a child. Tyson was the first beneficiary of this new law. Before this evening, I knew bits and pieces, and now I had a better understanding of how this all fit together.
The next morning we were woken from the smell of a breakfast fit for a king, prepared by Lorri. We all ate good and talked smart. Larry told Tyson, he had better eat well so he has the strength to drag his bear out of the woods today. That was all Tyson needed to get him revved up for the day.
After breakfast, we all met by another corn field where a bear was spotted earlier. The guys checked out the tracks to see if this bear was something we wanted to go after. We didn’t want a cub, nor did we want a monster that we would end up chasing all day and not be able to tree. The decision was made that this might be just the size we were looking for. The dogs were readied and the chase began.
Again, Tyson and I rode with Larry, and we headed out to the other side of the woods to listen for the dogs. Again Tyson was bouncing around in the truck like popcorn as we rode down these trails. We would stop every so often and try to get a fix on the dogs. It was like music to our ears to hear the dogs barking and howling. For about a half hour or so kept this up, till over the radio we herd, “The bear is treed, get Tyson in here.” Tyson was thrilled. We got as close as we could with a vehicle, then Bill Jr. grabbed Tyson and over his shoulder he went, and through the woods. It was maybe a quarter mile or so, and there in the tree was the bear with the dogs dancing around it. Tyson was put down in a spot that looked like he could get a good shot at the bear, but he never got the chance. The bear decided it was too crowded and down the tree it came despite the dogs. It ran within 15 feet of Tyson and they were hot on it again. The look on Tyson’s face was priceless. I am not sure if he was in awe of seeing the bear, scared because it was so close, or just disappointed that the bear was on the run again.
We are all disappointed but we needed to get back after the bear. We took turns carrying Tyson back out to the truck. The guys that were out by the other trucks saw the bear and where it was heading. We just needed the dogs to tree it again.
As luck would have it, it wasn’t fifteen minutes later the dogs had the bear in a tree again, this time it was right on a snowmobile trail where we could drive Tyson in on a four wheeler. It seemed like we all got there in about a minute or so. The bear was high in the tree, and it was tired from the chase. Tyson was very nervous. Larry got Tyson set up for up the shot, using Bill Jr. as a rest for him. With the help from Larry and Bill Jr., Tyson got his chance. He fired and hit the bear in the chest area. The bear started down the tree fast. Another shot was fired and the bear fell. Tyson got his first bear. You would have sworn we were having a party in the woods from the sounds of everyone hooting and hollering. Tyson was getting high fives, and slaps on the back. Bill Jr. grabbed Tyson and carried him in to see his bear. The sight of Bill kneeling down with Tyson on his knee was awesome, and I cannot describe the emotions right then.
The celebrating continued all the way back to the lodge, and to the registration station where several people congratulated him. He had a smile on his face that was never ending. The final highlight would have to be the interview for WJFW channel 12 from Rhinelander. They talked with Larry, Tyson, Bill Sr. and Bill Jr.
I cannot thank everyone involved enough.
Thank you, Kippenberg Creek Kids, Larry and Lorri Beyer, Bill Prening Sr. and his family, Bill Prening Jr. (you made Tyson feel like your little brother). To all hunters; Joel, Pat, John, John, Corrie, Corrie, Craig, Dan, Travis, Bret, and the rest of the gang that I didn’t even get to know your names. You have all given our son something that will never be forgotten.
Dear Larry & Lorri:
I would like to thank you so much for the wonderful time Michael & I had at Kippenberg Creek Kids. You too not only helped Michael fulfill a dream of shooting his first deer. You let him close a chapter in that strange book called life that says you can’t do that.. That experience gave Michael so much more than his first deer. You let him know with out question that there are people out there that really care and are willing to anything for any one at any time. That alone Michael will carry with him for ever. And make him a more caring person. As we talked on the way home I could plainly see Mikes confidence was at an all time high, He was more sure of him self, optimistic about the future. He grew up a lot that weekend and it wouldn’t of been possible if it weren’t for kind, caring people like you.
Thank you very much.
Sincerely the Millers