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Disabled hunters enjoy outdoors with support from AEP, others

by on November 13, 2012

Story by Jeff Rennie, AEP Ohio Corporate Communications

McCONNELSVILLE, Ohio – The 11th annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen Ultimate Team-Up event took place Oct. 19 and 20 at AEP’s ReCreation Land near McConnelsville in southeastern Ohio. ReCreation Land is the company’s 60,000-acre reclamation project on property that was once surface mined for coal. The company planted more than 63 million trees, and created more than 600 lakes and ponds and nearly 380 campsites on the property that is open for public use.

The event paired 38 disabled hunters (37 men and one woman) with able-bodied volunteers in the controlled deer hunt. The National Guard Armory just north of McConnelsville, home to the Ohio Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 174th ADA Avenger, served as the event headquarters.

“This was a very successful event,” said Dave Dingey, recreation programs administrator in AEP’s Real Estate Asset Management group, who served as the event coordinator. “This is one of the few opportunities for disabled hunters in this region of the country to enjoy outdoor activities. We are pleased to be one of the main sponsors.”

After the opening ceremonies Friday morning, followed by lunch, the hunters traveled to the Morgan County Gun Club where they and their guides shot sporting clays. A banquet for all event participants took place Friday evening.

Participants on Saturday hunted from blinds constructed by volunteers. The hunt took place under the guidance of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) – Division of Wildlife, District 4. Brian Cox, real estate asset forester in the AEP Real Estate Asset Management group, served as the hunting coordinator.

Event partners included AEP’s Real Estate Asset Management group, the National Wild Turkey Federation Morgan County (Ohio) – Wolf Creek Chapter, Ohio Division of Natural Resources – Division of Wildlife and the Ohio Army National Guard.

Dingey noted that more than 100 volunteers supported the activity, including those who participated in work parties for four weekends prior to the event to prepare the hunting areas. In addition, he said that numerous local businesses provided various items for prizes and awards.

AEP employees supporting the event included: Dingey, Cox, Mike Williams, Jeff Wilson, Angie Miller and Dean Berry, all from the AEP Real Estate Asset Management group. AEP retirees assisting with the project included Dennis Cavalier and Art Boyer.

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