SUPPORT KEMP LAKE
Your donation will allow us to continue our mission of making the outdoors accessible to disabled veterans, stroke survivors, and anyone in need of the healing power of Mother Nature.
WHERE DO DONATIONS GO?
Donations generally go to the actual events themselves and support for those events. Most of the events involve food for participants and their caregivers. It might be a BBQ, box lunch or at a restaurant . . . but usually something. Also, the events typically involve some expendables like lures, line, ammo, birds or similar.
There is a wide range of other event-related expenses. For example, special electric fishing reels are used for fishing participants who do not have the use of both hands. Similarly, the foundation has purchased a crossbow that can be operated with one hand for hunting. In addition, work on the fishing platforms, docks and the grounds around the docks are fishing event-related expenses. For hunting, the Kemp Foundation has invested heavily in clearing, food plots, fertilization and habitat improvement that has dramatically increased the numbers and size of deer and turkey in the area. Quail are being raised at Kemp Lake, special food plots for them, woods feathering and quail habitat have been improved.
Below are a few other items we are looking to add to help us serve our visitors better. While we are asking for some expensive items, please don’t feel a small contribution would not be useful. It will! You can donate as little as $3.00 and we will be very appreciative & put every dollar to good use! No donation is too small and all are tax-deductible!
WHAT WE NEED TO BETTER HANDLE VISITORS
We have learned a lot during our first year and a half of operation! The #1 thing was that to handle larger groups, we had to really “up our game”. It is one thing to have 1 or 2 fishermen or hunters, a caregiver and a guide but it’s another to have a group of 20 or larger! And, this July, we plan on a huge CAST for Kids event that will likely have 40 participants and at least that many caregivers & guardians as well as Kemp Lake volunteers & employees for a grand total of over 100 people in attendance!
To accommodate these groups, the Kemp Foundation has rebuilt a cabin that includes an accessible bathroom, created low-gradient sidewalks, established a large stone loading/unloading/meeting area, created new docks with railings, built two 12’ x 12’ “breakaway” fishing docks, several miles of trails (including water crossings), a lot of hunting habitat/foodplots and a lot more. To date, the Kemp Foundation has funded all of this construction activity in order to produce a top-of-the-line facility.
However, to take it to the next level, we need help!
In 2019, we had over 39 hunting, fishing, birdwatching and ATV events and we want to double that number this year. A number of volunteers have volunteered their time and expertise to help make that happen. So, now we are asking for financial help to continue our growth and help us empower more people at Kemp Lake.
WHAT WE STILL NEED
When our groups show up, we currently set up pop-up tents, tables and chairs, a gas barbecue and coolers. This works reasonably well, but it would be great to have a permanent pavilion that includes a barbecue to comfortably host our guests and be a base camp for all our events. In this way, Kemp Lake visitors could relax and enjoy the day more comfortably in the shade with a view of the Lake. And if a storm should come by, (and this happened twice last year!), it would provide quite a bit more shelter and protection that the pop-ups can’t. While the cabin can and has provided protection, it is very small and has a limited capacity.
We are looking to build a pavilion that features a deck that reaches out over the water so that people can fish from, feed ducks or just hang out on.
* We are still in the planning stages of our pavilion needs, but we are looking at a concrete and wood structure (not unlike the main pavilion at Tilles Park in St. Louis). We estimate the cost in the $40,000-$60,000 range. For an individual or corporate entity that might donate the entire amount necessary, we would happily thank them by naming the pavilion in their honor!
ONE BREAKAWAY DOCK
We currently have 2 - 12’ x 12’ “breakaway” docks (platforms) to fish from. These are not normal docks but are accessible, carpeted fishing platforms that are made extremely solid with encapsulated flotation, low powder-coated wheelchair safety railings and strong electric trolling motors with below deck battery compartments.
The docks are connected by heavy steel pins and piano hinges that allow for disabled visitors to easily use mechanical and heavier electric wheelchairs and cross from one platform to another. We can also create a 32-foot “fishing barge” that allows 2 breakaway docks and part of the normally “fixed” dock to fish cruise around the lake en masse (see picture)!
We are looking to build one more breakaway dock this year. This would allow yet another fishing platform to be available as an individual platform or also increase the size of the fishing “barge”. The budget includes dock, hardware, aluminum transom and battery storage tray, trolling motor, anchor and battery. Labor is assumed to be primarily provided by our volunteers.
* This cost includes trolling motor & batteries and may actually be less if some materials are donated.
The Kemp Foundation has invested in 2 power wheelchairs and a 4-wheel drive wheelchair that has been primarily for hunting & bird-watching. In order to handle more disabled visitors, Kemp Lake is looking to purchase more of them.
MOVABLE & ACCESSIBLE
The Kemp Foundation has built two accessible “blinds” for hunting deer & turkey. We could use one more.
*This is a budgeted amount for the windows, door, lumber, siding and other materials and may actually be more or less after purchase decision is made or all or part of the structure is donated. No donation is too small and all are tax-deductible!
3 EZGO/TRAILER COMBOS*
With over 5 ½ miles of roads and trails at Kemp Lake, bird-watching and tooling around in electric carts has become very popular – particularly for participants who cannot normally experience the outdoors very often (or at all). In addition, this is and activity for visitors that don't or can't fish or hunt. Kemp Lake currently has 2 electric golf carts. These are great but can only fit 4 people. Since one of these is the Kemp Lake volunteer driver, a max of only 6 visitors can go at one time with the 2 carts. In addition, some disabled visitors cannot get into the existing carts.
EZGO RXV carts are very powerful and can pull a trailer. So, like the red Rally Rides at the ballpark (see picture), we want to build 3 trailers to add to 3 carts. At least one of the trailers will be built to handle 2 wheelchairs. If we can do this, we can take 19 more visitors, caregivers and relatives out at one time in these new cart/trailer combos!
*$9,500 per combination is a budgeted amount for a used EZGO RXV and a custom-made trailer.
We would be grateful for other non-cash donations that could help our participants’ experience at Kemp Lake. Since we have limited storage capability, we may not be able to accept all items but there are quite a few we would be interested in. For example, construction materials, golf carts, certain tools & tractor implements, manual or powered wheelchairs, pontoon or other boats, trolling motors, fishing electronics and hunting-related items are just a few.