Ron Aiello, a veteran of our United States Army and retiree from General Motors, had a love for fishing and hunting like no other. He took every opportunity possible to be out enjoying nature doing one or the other. He was a tournament fisherman with NBAA, along with many other organizations for over 30 years.

I met Ron many years ago and became his fishing partner. It did not take long for him to become more than just a fishing partner to me. He became a father figure and best friend. We tried to spend everyday together fishing, hunting, doing projects around the house, anything that included hanging out and bonding.

Ron was a proud father of three beautiful daughters, three precious granddaughters, and after waiting for what seemed like forever, he was finally blessed with two wonderful grandsons. The happiest I had ever seen him was when those boys were born. He finally had boys in the family to take hunting and fishing with him. I hope someday all five of his grandchildren will understand what an amazing papa they had.

Shortly after the boys were born, Ron's health took a turn for the worst. Diagnosed with cancer, that quickly spread throughout his entire body.

Sadly, in May of 2013, Ron lost his battle with cancer. Saying goodbye to my best friend was by far one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with.

Every year in Kalava Michigan, we attended a fishing tournament called Chubface. Ron had been involved with helping put on this event for over 20 years. Not only did he help with the raffle and prize donations for all of those years, he also took on something that was close to his heart that made it one of his biggest accomplishments in helping the organization. He took the time to put together buckets filled with ice fishing gear to hand out to every child who attended the event. It was very important for him to see every child have their own set of fishing gear.

This just shows the type of person, fisherman, and father figure that Ron truly was to everyone.

The year after Ron had passed, it only felt right that I still attend the event in his honor. We had a beautiful lunch followed by the spreading of his ashes in the lake and a moment of silence. Even though this was such a hard time on all of us being up there without him, we knew he was there with us in spirit.

Being up there also made me realize that I needed to do something to carry on his legacy in this organization. He had done so much and it meant so much to him, that I wanted to keep him involved in anyway possible.

I joined together with the Chubface team, where we came up with an idea of turning this weekend event into one that Ron would be so proud of. Combining the horrible thing that took Ron's life and also his love for children, it only seemed fitting to come up with something to benefit both.

Something we decided to name "Hope For Hunters". To take a child suffering from cancer on a hunting trip of a lifetime. Kevin, the owner of Ubly Trophy Ranch has agreed to do a private white tail hunt for a special child and a member of their family. The hunt will be filmed by Larry Goriel, so the family will have a video to always look back on the memory forever. Along with the video, our great friend John Bradburn of Johnny B's Taxidermy is going to donate the deer mount to the child so they will forever have a trophy of their own from this wonderful experience.

This is the first year we will be doing this event, and we hope it continues for a lifetime. I know how proud Ron would be knowing what a great deal it is to help these children and give them something they will never forget.

Even though Ron may not be with us anymore, this just shows he is still doing wonderful things in this world and his legacy will live on forever!