Heartland Heroes, Inc.
Healing Heroes, Helping Families!
  
How Heartland Heroes, Inc. got started.
The first Heartland Heroes hunt was created by Mackenzie Nix as her senior “Buff” project at Garden City High School.  She was inspired by her step-father Tim Telinde’s desire to find a way to bring combat veterans to Western Kansas for a weekend of pheasant hunting. Tim retired from the army after six years of service, and has long wanted to give back to his brothers in arms. This father/daughter team was joined by Brian Beavers to help organize and host the events. Through their combined efforts and the support of their community they made the project a reality.
 
In December 2008, 22 soldiers and their families from Fort Riley Kansas took part in the inaugural Heartland Heroes Hunt. They were able to take wounded soldiers pheasant hunting for two days, give their families fun and relaxing activities and let them spend time together just being normal people.

The entire event was a success because of the support from corporations, our local businesses, individuals and organizations. 

Participant’s lodging was donated by the Comfort Inn.  Meals were donated by multiple groups and individuals.  Enough funds were donated to give each soldier a numerous gifts to take home and keep as a token of appreciation. The families were also treated to a craft workshop by Home Depot, cookie decorating by the American Legion and spouses were treated to free massages, manicures and shopping with donated gift cards.

The end result of the event had a totally different outcome than what was expected. The hunting was great fun. It was very gratifying to watch the wounds disappear for a few hours; it was heartwarming to watch citizens thank the soldiers and their families for their service and let them know they were supporting them. 

As the event grew in size and support, it became evident an organization needed to be formalized to coordinate and expand. Heartland Heroes, Inc. was formed in 2010 and is committed to continuing Mackenzie's vision. We are now gearing up for our fourth annual Heartland Heroes event. Our sole goal is to help heal combat-wounded warriors while engaging their spouse and children in a 4-day whole family healing event - free of cost!
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