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Cherokee Bow Hunters help 'Catch-a-Dream' make dreams come true

By: Lacy Hilliard
Tomahawk Writer/Photographer

Don and Dee Ruff have a shared passion for the great outdoors. It is this passion and the belief in the positivity that an outdoor experience can create as well as their Christian faith that inspired them to begin participating in the Catch-a-Dream Program back in 2010.
Both members of the Cherokee Bow Hunters Club in Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee, Don and Dee knew that combining their love for the great outdoors with their desire to make the world a better place, they could create a recipe for success and the members of the Cherokee Bow Hunters Club as well as members of the community quickly rallied behind the cause.
“I know we’ll make our goal. We always do,” said Don. He went on to tell a story about a young girl that handed him spare change while looking up at him bright eyed and saying, ‘I want to help.’ To me, that little girl is a dream maker,” Don said.
The fundraising goal for the Cherokee Bow Hunters is $4,000 to be donated to the Catch-A-Dream Foundation; a Christian ministry that provides a once in a lifetime outdoor experience for a child that’s battling a life threatening illness. The Bible verse Isaiah 40:31 (But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint) is the cornerstone of the Catch-A-Dream Foundation and does well to highlight the healing powers of making dreams come true.
From hunting trips in Alaska to deep-sea fishing in the Pacific, no dream is too big or small in the eyes of Don and Dee or the Catch-A-Dream Foundation. “We’re there to make sure all these kids’ dreams come true,” said Don and the proof is easily found in the many successful journeys the Cherokee Bow Hunters have helped to fund thus far. Both Don and Dee are humble in terms of their involvement with the program, however, it’s clear that making dreams come true is a tedious process that requires many volunteers and countless hours of preparations. Don was quick to recognize that many businesses donate goods and services and without such donations, the Catch-A-Dream Foundation wouldn’t be able to provide such a vast array of services. “It’s a community effort,” said both Don and Dee. In addition to praising the Cherokee Bow Hunters, the community and generous businesses, Don saved the most praise for his wife, “She’s everything. She’s the one that supports me in everything.”
The Cherokee Bow Hunters Club has been a part of the Johnson County Community for over 30 years.

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