Central Iowa Outdoors without Boundaries Honored in memory of Kevin Tish

Feb 15, 2021

At a time when we’re desperate for social experiences and spending time near those who lift our spirits, many non-profit organizations who pride themselves on group events, are challenged even more to find ways to keep their connections. One organization based out of Newton, IA, however, has the perfect business model for these strange times. All their activities take place outside and distanced, yet with a group feel!

Central Iowa Outdoors Without Boundaries (CIOWB) was founded approximately 15 years ago as a part of a larger, national organization but recently, decided to operate on their own, solely in Iowa. The volunteer based group organizes deer, pheasant/duck, turkey hunting and fishing outings for people who have physical limitations that would not otherwise be able to get out to enjoy the sports. The organization uses specialized equipment and a troop of volunteers to move participants to and from hunting/fishing areas.

“CIOWB is open to anyone who wants to participate,” said Joe Carmichael, spokesman and volunteer for CIOWB, “Since many of our participants are wheelchair bound, we try to match up a “helper” with each person to ensure they get a great experience.” Though based in Newton, the participants come from all over Iowa to enjoy the annual activities and just this November, the group hosted a deer hunt which included 20 hunters and more than two dozen volunteers.

Most of their hunting is coordinated with local farmers and the DNR in Central Iowa.  The deer management area located between Newton & Grinnell, and managed by the DNR, is opened up once a year for five days to the CIOWB to host a deer hunt. “The ranger at Rock Creek State Park helps organize this event, said Joe, “All licenses are provided through the DNR and for individuals with disabilities.”  In addition, the organization furnishes the tags, blinds, ATV’s to transfer the hunters and provides them with lunch a few times during the event. 

CIOWB holds an annual banquet fundraiser typically in February which often pays for the entire year of their activities. “Our organization is strictly volunteer; no one gets paid and all proceeds go to the needs of the activities,” said Joe, “No one expects anything but fun – It’s so great to see their faces when they accomplish what they’re after. As a hunter myself, I get a bigger charge out of seeing them get a deer than me!”

Key Cooperative made a special connection with CIOWB this past year by Key employee, Kevin Tish who passed suddenly in April 2020. Kevin was an avid outdoorsman, volunteer and advocate for the organization. With Kevin’s help, Key Cooperative wrote a matching grant for the organization in 2019 to purchase another ATV to better transport participants. Now as we enter 2021, another grant has been gifted and dedicated in Kevin’s name to the organization. CIOWB has been honored as a source of pride to the area by Key Cooperative and Cenex®, the energy brand of CHS. As part of this award, the organization received a $5,000 grant to purchase more adaptive equipment to help expand their programming.

“Because of Outdoors Without Boundaries, people who might not have been able to partake in certain outdoor activities like hunting and fishing are now able to,” said Scott Richardson, Energy Division Manager at Key Cooperative. “We’re proud to support their programming, in honor of Kevin, give folks with physical limitations equal opportunity and access to the outdoors.”  

If you would like to learn how to become a participant or volunteer of CIOWB, you can check them out on Facebook or contact volunteers Joe Carmichael (641) 521-2119 or Ed Foster (515) 657-1247.
The family of Kevin Tish, pictured above.

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