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Business/Money

February 28, 2012

Hunting for a cure: Highland Hills students to participate in annual event

GEORGETOWN — Alexis Smith is a typical middle-school student. She loves volleyball and hanging out with her friends.

But unlike most 12-year-old girls, Alexis Smith has a passion for hunting.

She developed her love for the outdoors from her father who has taken her on turkey and deer hunts for several years.

This year Alexis Smith, and fellow Highland Hills Middle School student Anthony Bostock, will participate in Hunting for a Cure March 23-25, in Savannah, Tenn. The youth involved in the turkey hunt collect donations prior to making the trip and that money is donated to St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

“To me, I think it’s the best thing any child can do ... go out and enjoy the outdoors. Whether it’s hunting or fishing, whatever it is to get someone back to the outdoors,” said Greg Bostock, Anthony’s father and a New Albany firefighter.

Anthony Bostock participated in the event last year and within five minutes of the hunt harvested a turkey which, according to the Hunting for a Cure website, was the third-largest killed during the three-day event. Last year, there were 45 children who participated in the hunt. Each child is paired with a guide. However, the guides do not have guns and each child is allowed to harvest one turkey.

“He just flew down in front of us,” Anthony Bostock said of the bird he shot last year.

He shot his first deer at age 9.

Each child is required to raise at least $200 to participate. Last year, the sixth-annual Hunting for a Cure event raised $58,400 for St. Jude’s.

Alexis Smith and her parents found out about the hunt from the Anthony Bostock and his family. She said she is looking forward to the hunt, but is also excited about raising money to help sick children.

“A couple of my friends hunt or go out with their dads,” Alexis Smith said. “I like to go out and get fresh air. I like seeing everything grow and I get real excited to see turkeys.”

So far, Alexis Smith has raised $3,400 this year in donations while Anthony Bostock has collected $900. The two will continue to raise money until they depart for the event. Last year, Anthony raised $2,370.

Alexis Smith’s father Steve Smith said it’s important for children to get accustomed with and learn the outdoors, and there is no better way of doing that than through hunting.

“Nowadays, too many kids stay indoors and never go outside,” Steve Smith said. “Maybe she will encourage other kids to go outside.”

Greg Bostock said there are a lot of people who have not heard of Hunting for a Cure.

“They don’t know it exists. But it’s a great opportunity to go out of state and hunt,” he said.

Each child has to complete a hunter’s education and safety class, which usually lasts 11 hours, before being allowed on the hunt. Both Anthony Bostock and Alexis Smith had their $200 entry fee paid for by the Southern Hoosier Hills Wild Turkey Chapter.

“We are blessed to have the Bostocks ask us to go,” Steve Smith said. “We had no idea about this until Greg told me about it. The families down there are so appreciative and it means so much to those kids down there.”

Both families said the hunt is not the primary reason to participate in the event. Raising the money to help the sick children of St. Jude’s is.

Those wishing to donate to Hunt for a Cure should call the Bostocks at 812-923-0031 or contact the Smith family at pamelakayesmith@gmail.com or by calling 502-939-3473.

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