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November 03, 2021

Challenge the Outdoors Ground Breaking

Written By: Cory Grassell of Home Instead Green Bay
Challenge the Outdoors Ground Breaking COMP

CHALLENGE THE OUTDOORS™ Breaks Ground On State-Of-The-Art Facility

Local Home Instead® owner donates land and building construction costs to help grant nonprofit organization’s wish.

GREEN BAY, WIS. – NOV. 3, 2021 – Local nonprofit Challenge the Outdoors, Inc. recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of its new $750,000 recreational complex in Angelica, Wis. The complex — a main clubhouse plus 13 acres with pond — is being made possible thanks to a donation from local business owner Steve Nooyen and his wife, Kristi.

Pictured left to right: Kristi Nooyen, Steve Nooyen, Ryan Minlschmidt, James Nooyen, Joe Toonen, Bob Glidden, Tim Temby, Keith Pamperin and Carl Gierke. © Challenge the Outdoors, Inc. All rights reserved.
Pictured left to right: Kristi Nooyen, Steve Nooyen, Ryan Minlschmidt, James Nooyen, Joe Toonen, Bob Glidden, Tim Temby, Keith Pamperin and Carl Gierke. © Challenge the Outdoors, Inc. All rights reserved.

While a majority of Challenge the Outdoors’ recreational programs for people with disabilities are currently held throughout Northeast Wisconsin, the nonprofit operates administratively out of office space provided by Home Instead® in Green Bay, a local senior-care franchise owned by the Nooyens.

Steve has volunteered with Challenge the Outdoors and served on its board of directors; through his involvement, he learned firsthand of the nonprofit’s need for operating space and, in turn, donated use of his commercial building in Green Bay.

In early 2021, the Nooyens announced that they would be making another significant contribution to Challenge the Outdoors, donating 13 acres of land they had previously purchased in Angelica — approximately 15 miles from Green Bay — plus an additional $600,000 to construct a permanent home for the organization’s functions. The Nooyens will also fund improvements to the adjacent fishing pond to make it accessible for people with disabilities.

Steve said, “Challenge the Outdoors has been offering quality outdoor opportunities to individuals with disabilities, for many years in Northeast Wisconsin. I met disabled outdoorsman Peter Lathrop and his father Bob Lathrop several years ago, and I was inspired by their dedication to Challenge the Outdoors and others in need. Both recently passed away, and we are thrilled to honor their memory by building a new clubhouse at Peter’s Pond — named in memory of Peter Lathrop.”

The new Challenge the Outdoors recreational complex will be entirely wheelchair accessible to provide opportunities for physically challenged sportspersons and outdoor enthusiasts. The land will be developed as recreational space for some of Challenge the Outdoors’ programs, while the construction of a new clubhouse will provide for administrative and educational space.

Additional on-site amenities include:

● Peter’s Pond — a large, private fishing pond with wheelchair-friendly piers
● A wheelchair-accessible nature trail
● A crossbow and archery range
● Space for educational seminars, including hunter’s safety and fly fishing
● A 2,500-square-foot clubhouse, featuring a kitchen, restrooms, community-gathering space for local organizations and a covered patio

Carl Gierke, president of Challenge the Outdoors, thankfully acknowledged the Nooyens on their generous gift, “With this gift, Challenge the Outdoors is poised to build upon an already solid tradition of serving the disabled. The location along Highway 29 will provide visibility we have not had before, hopefully drawing additional participants and volunteers to our organization and allowing us to expand our offerings in the future.”

Construction is tentatively set to begin in November, with an approximate completion during summer 2022. RJM Construction, LLC of Black Creek, Wis., will lead the construction efforts.

RJM Construction Owner Ryan Minlschmidt said of the opportunity, “We are really excited to partner with Challenge the Outdoors and the Nooyens on this project. We have assisted other organizations, like Shadows on the Wolf, on similar projects, and look forward to helping Challenge the Outdoors successfully achieve this dream.”

For construction updates and additional information about Challenge the Outdoors, including details on making a tax-deductible donation, visit CTOforMe.org.

ABOUT CHALLENGE THE OUTDOORS

Challenge the Outdoors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the Northeast Wisconsin area. It was founded in 1998 by a group of outdoor sportspersons, most of whom were physically challenged. The founding members all shared a common bond in their passion for outdoor activities, and they believed these activities could help enhance mental and physical well-being as well as overall quality of life. Today, Challenge the Outdoors offers events and services — thanks to more than 100 local volunteers — that enable physically challenged sportspersons to participate in hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational activities.