EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation recently hosted the Saluda branch of the Burton Center for a day of outdoor activities.
The Burton Center is a non-profit organization providing necessary resources and services to individuals with disabilities and special needs.
“Have a good time, and be safe,” Travis Sumner said welcoming the Burton Center attendees to the NWTF headquarters and Outdoor Education Center. Sumner is the NWTF Hunting Heritage Center and habitat manager.
Sumner received loud cheers from all eighteen individuals of the Burton Center when he promised, “you all will be taking home some fish today.”
The group began their day at the NWTF’s trophy bass pond. Within two minutes of being at the pond, the Burton Center group was already reeling in fish, and endless laughs and smiles filled the docks and banks.
Sumner and his staff helped the group take fish off the hook, put on new bait and provided insightful tips. Once the group caught enough bass and bream for a sufficient fish fry, they moved on to the catfish pond. The only thing more abundant than the catfish the group caught were the laughs that filled the air.
“My favorite part of this is NWTF’s hospitality,” said Chantay Williams, a nurse for ten years with the Burton Center.
After the group finished their morning of fishing, they enjoyed lunch with a sense of accomplishment while Sumner and his staff fileted and packed away the day’s catch for the group to take home.
With locations in Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Lexington, McCormick and Saluda counties, the Burton Center is serving over 1,000 individuals. Taking its members on recreational trips is not the only way the Burton Center empowers its members; the organization also provides jobs for its members, which are geared toward boosting confidence and skills to work within their communities.
“Growing up, I always loved working with people with disabilities. I love helping them make a difference in their communities,” said Miranda White, Burton Center’s project coordinator.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org