REMBERT, SC (WIS) - Rafe Ellisor does not let injuries from a car crash keep him from the outdoor activities he loves.
"I lost the use of my hands and my legs and I really struggled," he said. "I struggled with getting back into the great outdoors and trying to figure out how to do those sort of things."
Once he figured it out for himself, Ellisor and a friend founded Fun 4 All to share outdoor experiences with other people with disabilities. Thanks to Rafe, his friends, and some dedicated volunteers, Fun 4 All takes people hunting, fishing, kayaking, bowling and on other active outings.
"We were gonna' start this organization so that we could provide those opportunities for people who had disabilities, no matter what type, so that they didn't have to struggle so much."
Fun 4 All provides devices that allow people with disabilities to be active, such as one that fires a gun with a breathing tube. The equipment, meals and facilities are paid for with donations and private funding. Veterans recovering from injuries are welcome to participate.
One Fun 4 All volunteer met Ellisor while rehabilitating from an injury suffered while hunting. David Montgomery fell 30 feet from a tree stand and broke his back.
"Just had an experience laying on the ground waiting for help and made a lot of promises that morning," Montgomery said. "Things happen for a reason, I guess, for the best sometimes. And I would say it changed my life and I made some promises. I didn't know what they were going to be until later."
"We just have a blast doing it together," he said of his fellow volunteers. "This is more fun for us than it is for Rafe and them."
Montgomery is the member of a Rembert gun club that hosts some of Fun 4 All's events.
"They just get more out of it than anything," Montgomery said. "That's what makes me feel good about this whole thing."
"Hopefully they'll just enjoy themselves that day," he said. "Any guy that wants to go hunting that didn't think they could before, come hunt with us. We have a good time and believe me, you'd be part of the family very quickly."
There are no strangers at Fun 4 All events. Only friends who haven't met. And it doesn't take long to become part of the Fun 4 all family.
"It's not about taking animals," Ellisor said. "It's about fellowship and friendship and families being together and doing things they enjoy. That's what's most important. A lot of these guys, they become friends and they do things on the weekend together so they're not socially isolated. I men, we all need companionship and these folks have turned into friends."
"We want to make sure that we're giving as many people in the community that have disabilities an opportunity to get out there and enjoy life."