All for other people

Published 6:08 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2008

By By Matthew Nascone
Hunting provides an opportunity for people to bond and come together as friends, as well as bag a good meal or a trophy for the mantelpiece, and for 10 individuals hunting was exactly that last weekend.
But the catch is that these 10 people are disabled in some way and the South Alabama chapter of the Outdoors Without Limits group helped those individuals go hunting.
That is such a worthy cause to be a part of. I know each of the 56 people involved with the hunt had a blast. I could tell that when I went out there and saw the looks on the faces of those involved.
Participants and volunteers alike were having a blast and they were especially enjoying themselves when I was there because it was right before everyone sat down for dinner.
The dinner was delicious and I thank the cooks for the great food that they provided. I also would like to thank Hooper Matthews III, Ronnie Johnson and Dale Ash from Pepsi for their great hospitality while I was reporting on the events.
The entire crew at the Matthews farm was as nice as could be and it was a joy to see Gene White, South Alabama OWL chairman, and Steve Thomas, OWL regional vice president, again.
I talked with these two gentlemen last year when they were at the Matthews farm for this same event and it was great to see how they were doing and talk with them for a little bit.
It is so great what the Matthews family does for this area and this hunting event was just another reason why the entire family is a great asset to the Atmore area.
This event was going to happen last year no matter what, but after the passing of "Big Hoop" the event was named in his memory and all involved who knew Big Hoop agreed that this was a fitting event to have his name on.
All I know is that it warms my heart when I see people giving other people opportunities that they would otherwise not have. To me, that is what Pepsi and the other 43 sponsors did for the Matthews-La Penna Memorial Hunt this year.
White told me that without all the support, there would be no way to keep having the event, but the efforts of the various businesses in this area who donated to the event made sure it happened.
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Atmore was the lead sponsor and donated time and products to the cause. Pepsi has provided a ton of support for this great cause. I commend them for their efforts and I know they would not ask for an ounce of praise, but they sure do deserve it.
Another hunting adventure that donated to a good cause this past year was the money that Chilly's Gourmet Shaved Ice donated to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital through Poorman Outdoors. Chilly's owner, Jason Presnall, is a member of Poorman Outdoors and they helped fight cancer with a full day's profit at Chilly's that was donated to St. Jude's.
Events like these are what make a person feel that there will always be good people in the world. And greatness can be achieved in sports without ever winning anything.
Matthew Nascone is the sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or online at

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