P I T T S B U R G H, Dec. 15 -- The Make-A-Wish Foundation has grantedthousands of requests from children with life-threateningillnesses, sending youngsters to Walt Disney World or introducingthem to their favorite pop stars.
But there are some wishes the foundation won’t grant. For thepast year, Make-A-Wish has refused to arrange hunting trips.
That’s where Hunt of a Lifetime has come in.
The organization, formed to grant hunting requests no longer metby Make-A-Wish, has arranged several trips, including a safari withrock ‘n’ roll wild man and ardent hunter Ted Nugent.
“Make-A-Wish just makes me want to puke my guts out,” Nugentsaid. “What could be more pure than the last wishes of a youngchild? And to deny that because of political correctness? That’sjust outrageous.”
The Motor City Madman will travel to South Africa in July withZachary Martin, a 16-year-old from Yreka, Calif., with bone cancer.
“Jeez, going hunting in Africa, and with Ted Nugent. It’s beena dream of mine to hunt with him ever since I started watching hisshows,” Zachary said.
Nugent, the singer of “Cat Scratch Fever,” said he and theteenager will go bowhunting for zebra, warthogs and impalas.
Denial Linked to Safety Concerns
“Let me tell you, when you go hunting with Ted Nugent, there isno Janet Reno around to stop you. There is nothing more beautifulthan that,” Nugent said this week.
Make-A-Wish has granted 83,000 wishes but put a stop to huntingoutings, said Jim Maggio, a spokesman for the charity.
“It’s a safety concern, basically with exposing the kids andother participants to the potential for danger from a weapon beinghandled by someone who is in a weakened state from alife-threatening disease,” Maggio said.
Animal rights groups had criticized hunting trips arranged byPhoenix-based Make-A-Wish.
“We see something ironic here,” said Heidi Prescott, directorof the Fund for Animals. “They’re teaching a child to kill andcause another living being to suffer at a time when that child, wewould figure, would be empathetic about the quality of life.”