Our Founding

Joe and Laurie Ramsey established Empowered Dream Hunts in 2007. With Joe’s love for the outdoors and hunting, Joe noticed that there was a need to help those with challenges, disabilities, or illness, so that they can have an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors as well.   As a family, the Ramsey’s have worked together in finding hunting recipients, raising funds to cover the costs, and providing a keepsake DVD to the recipient. Joe and Laurie consider the recipients and their families to be a part of the Ramsey family through these wonderful experiences.  Empowered Dream Hunts always promotes family involvement through the entire dream hunt process. The recipient’s family is encouraged to assist in fundraising efforts. They are also invited to come along and experience the hunt with their family member (recipient). Being with family makes the hunting weekend much more memorable and special.   Joe is available for motivational speaking about Empowered Dream Hunts, life and wrestling..

About Joe Ramsey

     Joe’s beginning in life was, at the least, challenging. Coming from the streets of Milwaukee, Joe was in and out of 6 different foster homes starting at 16 months of age. After spending some time at Lincoln Hills School near Merrill, Wisconsin, Joe was placed at a dairy farm in the same area. This was to be his last foster home.


     An introduction to wrestling in 8th grade changed Joe’s life forever. He became Merrill’s first 2-time WIAA State Champion in wrestling. Joe graduated with a B.S. in Sociology from UW Stevens Point in 1992 and became a WSUC champion while wrestling for the Pointers. He later joined the USA National Freestyle Team. In addition to competing for Team Foxcatcher, Joe was an Olympic hopeful in 1992 and 1996. He trained and competed in 48 states and more than 11 different countries until he retired in 1995 due to a head injury. He then worked at Rawhide Boys Ranch for nearly 10 years and married Laurie in 1998.


     Through his experiences in life, Joe has helped many young men reach their goals. He continues to help area schools with coaching wrestling and encouraging young men to believe in their dreams no matter what challenges they face. Over the past 20-plus years, Joe has worked with over 100 wrestlers that have achieved conference, state, and national championships.


     “It motivates me when a competitive athlete becomes a great coach. Over the years, I have seen many wrestlers go on to college and excel at the next level.” – Joe Ramsey


     Joe Ramsey’s Experience

 •Three time WIAA State Placer

 •Two time WIAA State Champion

 •WSUC Champion, 3x Finalist

 •USA Freestyle National Team

 •Traveled to 48 states and over a dozen countries while competing

 •26 Plus Years Coaching Experience

 •Motivational Speaker

 •9 Plus years Rawhide Boys Ranch as  a Job Trainer, Developed wrestling  program

 •Merrill Wrestling Hall of Fame 2009

 •Founder of Empowered Dream Hunts   Inc. 501c3 Non-Profit

Joe's Wrestling