LITTLE ROCK – Dalena Haynes of Leola had no children when she passed away in February of 2015 at age 47, but current and future generations of outdoors enthusiasts will no doubt benefit from her passion for wildlife and the natural world. Haynes, a former participant of the AGFC’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, left one-quarter of her estate to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to be used for BOW and the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program, two of the AGFC’s well established recruitment efforts to get new people excited about the outdoors.
Haynes left the estate in a trust that would be used to care for her long-time friend and business partner, Sidney Trahan, with whom she shared a passion for horses and the outdoors, until his death. Once Trahan passed, any remainder of the trust was to be split evenly between four organizations, one of which was the AGFC. Mr. Trahan, who was 88, did not live long after Haynes’ passing. For the past three years the estate’s attorney has submitted payments to the AGFC totaling $264,000, with the stipulation that these funds are to be used to assist in funding the two AGFC programs for which Haynes had such a passion.
Tisa Bomar, the AGFC’s coordinator for Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, says the AGFC plans to fund scholarships in memory of Ms. Haynes to enable more people to attend BOW events.
“The Dalena Gail Haynes Scholarship Fund will be started this year for the BOW program,” Bomar said. “There will be 10 partial scholarships in the amount of $100.00 each for participants.”
Jimmy Self, Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program coordinator for the AGFC, said his program also will use the funds to break down barriers to people wishing to participate in competitive shotgunning.
“Funds will be used to purchase 55 guns for the loaner gun program,” Self said. “These guns go to schools and students who cannot afford guns to practice and participate in the AYSSP program properly. We often see youth arrive at the regionals with guns that are ill-fitting and uncomfortable to shoot. We want to make sure they experience the joy of shooting during their time in our program. We think this is exactly the sort of thing she had in mind when she chose to use a portion of her estate to help people get outdoors.”