POSTED ON BEHALF OF LIVING WATERS RANCH IN OSCEOLA, MISSOURI
2013 Year End Report from Living Waters Ranch
What a fantastic 2013 at Living Waters Ranch! During the year it’s estimated that approximately 1800 people visited the ranch with school and church trips, free day camps, the fall festival, weekend retreats, and youth rallies! The most exciting addition to the ranch last year was the renovation of the century plus old barn that will be used for indoor learning space. The first event in the The Loft of the barn was a youth event in November.
The board members of Living Waters Ranch would like to take this opportunity to thank the churches, businesses, organizations, and individuals who make donations to the camp and/or attend the fundraising events held each year in the spring and the fall. Without the support of the community, the ranch would have a difficult time blessing the children and adults who take part in the outreach projects organized and carried out by Living Waters Ranch. LWR would like to recognize Truman Lake Community Foundation, Roscoe Christian Church, Osceola Assembly of God Church, River of Life Church – Rockville, Calvary Church – Jacksonville, Fl, The Cannery, Osceola Optimist Club, Clinton Mid Day Optimist Club, Clinton Sunrise Optimist Club, Bolivar Kiwanis, TOPS Club of Hermitage, Osceola Subway, Tri County Publishing, Fugate Motors, Sheldon’s Funeral Home, Evans Drugs, Payton –DDS, Hawthorn Bank, St. Clair County State Bank, Sac Osage Hospital, Sac Osage Publishing, Hawkins Family Chiropractic, Santa Paula Awning, Akers Home Improvement, Osceola and Clinton UMWs, United Methodist Men’s Group, Dennis Brown Trucking, and many individuals who donate towards our free outreach events. Again, without this generosity, LWR would not be possible.
The latest fundraising dinner was held in November and donations were received by many businesses in Branson and Springfield. Local donations came from Sugarfoot BBQ, Harper’s Station, Grandma’s Attic, Osceola Barber and Style, Do It Best, Osceola Standard Station, Anthony Roth Woodworks, Susan Williams Close to My Heart, Osceola Cheese, Kottwitz Feed & Farm Supply, Alicia’s Hair Affair, Simply You’nique, Carney’s Supermarket, and Corva Hamel all of Osceola. Tracker Marine, Golden Corral, Los Compadres, Strike Zone, Sonic, Clinton Farm Bureau, Taco Bell, Schreiber, Clinton Farmer’s Exchange of Clinton. Loyd’s Tire, Lowry City, Buzz’s Supermarket, 13-54 Café, Collins. Volunteers were Gene and Barb Holtgrewe, Pat Brownlee, Melody and Donovan Clawson, Rayetta Self, Mateo Hamel, Nick Brown, Jessica Motley, and Joyce Brown. The money generated from the dinner helped pay camp insurance and partially fund Christmas from the Heart.
Christmas from the Heart was held at Osceola with approximately 75 children and family members attending. Lowry City Christmas from the Heart was also well attended with about 50 kids attending, plus about 20 special needs adults and caregivers who attended the morning session. This is by far one of the most blessed of all the events that LWR organizes. Children of all ages are given the opportunity to make Christmas gifts to give to their family members. So many children want to be able to give gifts, but don’t have the means to purchase them. What says ‘I love you’ like a gift made by a child and truly given ‘from the heart’? Donations were received from the Osceola Community Church, Helen Kidwell, Susan Brockus, Roland Derby, Michelle Parmalee, Josh and Debbie Jones, Grace UMW, Anita Bennett, and Osceola Community Foundation.
Living Waters Ranch was founded and built on property owned by Dennis and Joyce Brown. Having lived on the property since 1980 and bought from Joyce’s dad, Frank Kottwitz, in the mid ‘80s, it turned out to be just perfect for a place to take children and families to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful world that God created for His children. Nonprofit status was granted in 2007 and the first event was held in 2008. The leadership course, small perch pond, campfire area, shelter house, cook shack, shooting benches, picnic area, beautiful bluff area that now is the jumping off point for the zip line, giant slide, and lots of open area for games and camping, makes it very inviting for weekday school field trips and weekend retreats for church groups, civic and school organizations, ball teams, scouts, American Heritage Girls, and soon, Trail Life USA groups. At Living Waters there is something for everyone!
The latest improvement to the ranch is the renovation of the century plus old barn. Dennis and Joyce decided to restore the old barn instead of trying to replace it. Even though they paid for the renovations themselves, they are excited about the camp being able to use it as an indoor area that can be used for various activities. Last fall, new metal siding and roof were put on and the inside structure repaired along with the addition to a ‘real’ staircase to replace the ladder accessing the loft. Lights were installed throughout the barn and the loft cleaned out and repaired. The first youth event was held in The Loft in November with about 50 youth and adults in attendance. There was a Christian rock band and speaker who challenged the youth and adults to make turning to God their first reaction during the tough times that everyone faces at one time or another.
The barn will also allow Living Waters Ranch a facility to focus more on the importance of agriculture in America during school field trips. Plans are to teach children about the history of agriculture in this area, soil conservation, and use of animals on a farm.
Living Waters Ranch will soon begin its 7th year with two free events, Prom-a-Palooza in March and the annual Fun Run 4 Kids in April, and then continue with school, church, and civic organizations day/weekend trips. Several weekends are already booked at the ranch and the first school of the season just confirmed a date for a Missouri Day field trip in May. The third annual Home School Day will also be scheduled for April and the free Special Touch Day Camps will be held monthly again this year.
Living Waters Ranch is always in need of volunteers, workers (LWR provides part time work to approximately 20 people each year), and donations. If you would be interested in learning more about how you can be a part of LWR, contact Joyce Brown, 417.646.2694 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn more by visiting the website www.livingwatersfoundation.org LWR is a 501c3 nonprofit, faith based organization with an emphasis on outdoor education. This allows secular and faith based activities both. All donations are tax deductible.
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