Every year, we organize our “REEL SERVICE” project to raise money to support worthy causes – pairing our best with the best from the industries best artists. This year, we dedicated the whole of the proceeds to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, and the veterans they serve.
We hand-built a series of packs, bags, and gear items – then sent these “blank canvases” on to the artists for them to paint, draw, and otherwise decorate the packs to create a series of one-of-a-kind wearable art that were raffled off after Christmas.
A HUGE thank you to Derek DeYoung, AD Maddox, Andrea Larko, Paul Puckett, Jeff Kennedy, Josh Udesen, and to some of the industries newest and brightest – Ty Hallock and Jared Nielsen – for all they gave to make this happen. And let’s be honest – without the overwhelming support from these amazing artists, this program wouldn’t have been as successful as it was.Through the generous contributions from those who bought raffle tickets, the effort raised over $3500 (final official tally coming soon) for Project Healing Waters (PHW). Truly incredible!!! Citing statistics from the organization, it’s clear that this year’s effort will have a DRAMATIC impact on the lives of many wounded veterans who are given the gift of fly fishing through the causes’ generous work:
$10 One month of fly tying classes and the associated equipment and materials for a disabled veteran in the PHWFF Program
$20 One month of comprehensive PHWFF Program classes (fly casting, fly tying, outing, and rod building) for a disabled veteran
$50 Two months of comprehensive PHWFF Program classes (fly casting, fly tying, outing, and rod building) for a disabled veteran
$100 Provides a disabled veteran the opportunity to attend one local program outing (equipment/transportation, etc)
$250 One disabled veteran to participate in our annual rod building classes
$500 One full year of comprehensive PHWFF Program classes and outings for a disabled veteran
$1000 Sponsors a disabled veteran on one National Tournament Fishing experience with PHWFF
All in all, my hat is off to the hard-working people behind PHW – and to each of the artists who gave so much this year. Whether it’s spent on giving seven veterans a year’s worth of classes and outings… or whether it’ll be better utilized to provide almost 30 years of monthly fly tying classes and materials for vets, we are truly honored to have been able to support this incredible organization. To learn more about the organization – their work – and how you can support the vets, please visit their site at http://www.projecthealingwaters.org/
NEW ARTISTS WORTH KNOWING
I met Ty when he guided my Dad and I on the North Platte River in the fall of 2014 – and he impressed on every level. Turns out, he’s also extremely talented at the pen and the oars. A new name – but one that will undoubtedly become a household one…
A later addition – but one welcomed, was this Deep Storage pouch from a new name in our industry, Jared Nielsen. Beau from Blue Halo caught up with me at the IFTD show in Orlando, and told us about Jared’s work. He hand engraves copper plates, then uses those to stamp imagery onto canvases, paper, or (in this case) fabrics. His Permit work here is truly impressive – keep an eye out for this kid!
Again… our heartiest thanks to the artists – the cause – and our loyal followers for their generous contributions through REEL SERVICE 15! Looking forward to seeing what 2016 will hold!