A year ago, Tamarack Technology teamed up with the nonprofit organization Flannel River to support its mission to provide outdoor experiences for people regardless of their ability or means. Today, we are proud to share an update on their accomplishments this past year and the remarkable impact they’ve already made.
Since it was formed last fall, the nonprofit has touched the lives of numerous individuals, including people with disabilities, marginalized and underserved populations, and those facing emotional hardships. Each trip was tailored to the guest’s needs – some taking place on rivers in western Wisconsin and others in area lakes. The activities ranged from spin fishing to fly fishing, and several outings focused on simply allowing participants to unwind in the tranquil embrace of nature.
Some trips involved active military members on leave; others, veterans with PTSD in search of a calm they once had a much easier time finding. One instance provided a single-parent child with an opportunity they had never been afforded; another took a child fishing for the first time.
However, in their most impactful outing, they took a wheelchair-bound person down the river with their new wheelchair-accessible raft. According to co-founder Ryan Bishop, “More than any other, that was a trip that truly helped remind us of our ‘why’ in Flannel River's ultimate mission.”
Like a river, the nonprofit keeps moving. Upcoming trips include: a wheelchair-bound person who suffered a stroke and for years has dreamed of once again floating down a river and fishing, and a teenager who was expelled for making some regrettable choices but is trying to get his ship back on the right path.
Other outings are in the works as word spreads. Flannel River has not really done any promoting or advertising as they know, at this time, they would not be able to keep up with demand and balance their current jobs and family commitments. They have enough pending trips to stay busy the way it is, and look forward to their "off-season" conversations and planning for the future. Some of those conversations also involve potential partnerships with other organizations who have similar missions of helping others.
It is through a combination of grants and generous donations of time, money and gear that Flannel River has accumulated the primary equipment necessary to provide these opportunities. Flannel River now owns: a smaller 2-person raft and trailer, a larger 3-person wheelchair-accessible raft and trailer, a 4-person drift boat and trailer, an assortment of rafting and fly-fishing equipment / apparel (fly rods and reels, raingear, etc.) for people of various ages, and a multitude of miscellaneous items to help outfit the necessary inventory for basic river excursions.
Tamarack Technology is very excited to be part of the Flannel River mission and hopes you might encourage and support them as well. Find out more at flannelriver.org.