The Story of Quiet Waters Ranch

THE NEED

At the heart of WQW’s programs is the lodging out of which Fishing Experiences (FX’s) are based. Here, warriors find themselves in a peaceful environment, surrounded by loving volunteers in a setting far removed from hospitals, doctors, and the rigors of combat.

The total numbers of seen and unseen injuries arising from over a decade of war and exceptionally high-tempo operations guarantees the requirement to continue to provide therapeutic recreation and alternative healing for decades to come. Combat-related PTS and depression sometimes takes years to set in. Amputations don’t grow back. Disabilities are present for life. In 2015, WQW saw a record-breaking number of applications to our program.

Prior to having a home of our own, WQW was heavily dependent upon the area’s vacation rental market for warrior accommodations. As the years went by, being able to manage the organization’s bottom line or expand programs became increasingly more expensive and inefficient.

To better assist combat veterans on their path of recovery and reintegration, WQW launched the “Home for Healing” fundraising campaign.

Having a designated “Home for Healing” enables WQW to:

  • Provide warriors with accommodations in which all physical barriers are gone, maximizing security, camaraderie and serenity within the ADA-accessible home and among participants.
  • Be more organizationally efficient. Changing locations each FX was both time and resource intensive, requiring a different set of logistics for every FX and resulting in an inconsistent warrior experience. A dedicated facility offers consistency from program week to program week.
  • Invest in programs rather than facilities. A fluctuating vacation rental market means no guarantee from year to year of available space at an affordable price.
  • Eliminate the “no’s.” If we grow the program but don’t have a place to house people, we will have to refuse service to more wounded veterans. A home of our own eliminates the occurrence of qualified participants being told to “re-apply next year” at a time in their lives when intervention may literally be key to their survival.

I was worried before I came here but once I got here I knew I could get wherever I need to. You can’t put a price on that.

Patrick Myers, Warrior

Capital Campaign Timeline

  • August 2013: WQW BOD approves ‘5-Year Strategic Plan’ – includes acquisition of a facility.
  • September 2014: BOD votes to approve Feasibility Study and move forward with Campaign per counsel’s recommendations Immediately thereafter, WQW receives an unsolicited pledge of $2.5M from an anonymous donor to support the purchase of a home.
  • November 2014: Reese Creek Property identified.
  • February 2015: Board approves Buy/Sell offer to purchase the property for $3M.
  • March 2015: “Quiet Phase” of $7M Capital Campaign launches. Campaign is comprised of four distinct funds including a Maintenance & Management Endowment ($1.5M), Annual Operating Program Endowment ($1M), Renovations and Improvements Fund ($1.5M) and Property Purchase ($3M).
  • May 2015: Property purchased by WQW; exterior renovations begin including installation of two fishing ponds.
  • October 2015: “Public Phase” of Capital Campaign is launched.
  • January 2016: Americans with Disabilities Act compatible renovations of home’s interior begin.
  • May 2016: Inaugural Fishing Experience held at Quiet Waters Ranch!
  • July 2016: Tim and Mary Barnard of Bozeman pledged $1,000,000 to close out (and exceed!) the Capital Campaign goal.