Roger Lee Widner Jr. Family Benefit

Many of you may not know who Roger Widner is, but if you’ve enjoyed trout fishing in Southwest Wisconsin, you owe him a debt of gratitude. And you are now being asked to help repay a little part of that debt.

Roger Widner has been a giant in the area of cold water conservation in the driftless area of Southwest Wisconsin. He started the West Fork Sports Club in 1967 in Avalanche, WI. He was the catalyst in initiating and coordinating the efforts of a group of local businessmen, farmers and outdoorsmen into what became one of the finest models of cooperative partnering between landowners, the fishing community and state agencies in the region. His efforts and the efforts of his team have resulted in better Water Quality and Trout Habitat in the Kickapoo Valley of South West Wisconsin. Those of you who have watched TUTV will recall that when Tim Linehan did the show on the West Fork of the Kickapoo he interviewed Roger and complimented him on the work that was done.

Roger has been involved in his community and cares deeply about the land and its’ people. He made investments of his own time and resources in the cold water resource. He did all of this while working full time and raising a family. Along with his wife Laurie, Roger developed and has made available to the angling community, the West Fork Sportsman’s Club Campground. It sits on the bank of the West Fork of the Kickapoo River and is a great place to stay and use as a base to explore the Coulee region.

But Roger’s influence has gone beyond the banks of the West Fork. We in the Elliott Donnelley Chapter of TU met Roger through our cooperative ventures with the Nohr Chapter in Grant County. Roger was the man that Nohr commissioned to do the work on the Big Springs project. Roger also tutored the people who continue our ongoing efforts on the Blue River.

Roger Widner is a man of integrity. He is also an architect, designer and hands on artist, doing in-stream sculpturing of the river banks, rolling the rocks with a back hoe, and teaching and inspiring others how to do this work right, so that the improvements will be done to his exacting standards and will meet the test of time. Unfortunately, time is a luxury Roger can no longer afford. He has cancer. At the age of 46 he, his wife Laurie, and his 2 children Danielle (13) and Dillon (10) have met a challenge that requires the assistance of others. A trust account has been set up for his children at:

The Westby Community Credit Union
PO Box 70
Westby, WI 54667-0070

The account is named and you should make checks payable to “The Roger Widner Family Benefit #5106”

Please contribute whatever you can to this worthwhile effort to assist a man who supports everything that this TU chapter stands for and supports.

We would also like you to be aware that a benefit for Roger Lee Widner Jr.s children is scheduled at the West Fork Sportsman's Club Campground in Avalanche, WI. on September 2, 2006, starting at 3:00 pm. Refreshments will be available from 3:00 to 9:00 or until food is gone. Raffles bake sale, and other events are being planned.

The main shelter and Portage camp shelter are reserved for this event. The West Fork club encourages all participants to spend the evening - free camping on Sept. 2.

Thank you.