Happy 2nd Birthday!

Activities related to the Northeast Florida chapter of HeroesOnTheWater.org

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Happy 2nd Birthday!

Post by YakGroupie » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:00 am

This month marks our 2nd birthday here at the Northeast Florida Chapter. In June 2012, five of us packed up into a mini-van and drove to Texas to meet HOW Founder/President Jim Dolan at the Casting for a Cause tournament. Days after returning to Florida, the Northeast Florida Chapter formed. We started with three leadership team members, no money and no equipment. Three weeks later, we held our first event with six veterans. Since that time, we have held over 500 vet days. We are honored that so many vets have trusted us to teach them about kayak fishing. They allow us to set them afloat in little plastic boats and a promise that they will have fun and that it will be one of the most relaxing experiences of their lives. We measure our success in the number of returning veterans at our events, the brightness of the smiles, and those vets who have made kayak fishing their own tool for rehabilitation. Our success would not have been possible without the dedication of our volunteers. These are the folks who loaned us equipment when we had none and who continue to contribute their time, energy and experience with our veterans and their family. Among those volunteers, we now have eight Leadership Team members who go above and beyond in order to make this chapter run efficiently. Lastly, we are so grateful for the community support we have received in the past two years. We have a home base at Browns Creek Fish Camp and a partnership that we value beyond compare. Local tournaments like the Ricky Luce Tournament and the Jacksonville Kayak Fishing Classic have not only raised money for us to purchase equipment and food/drinks for our vets but they have allowed us a place to spread the word about HOW and gather experienced kayak fishermen/women who have become the backbone of our chapter. There are many, many local businesses who have recognized the therapeutic value in kayak fishing for our veterans and have donated goods and services for our cause. We thank you all for a great first two years and we look forward to making the next year even better. Happy birthday Northeast Florida!

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Re: Happy 2nd Birthday!

Post by garyfishes » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:25 pm

Thank you, Melita. All of you, and your group, have put a smile on the face of many Vets. I have enjoyed the events I have attended and look forward to many more. For those of you that have kayak fishing knowledge, these events are very helpful to Vets and their families. Get involved if you enjoy kayaking and want to help the Vets in the local area.

Gary (garyfishes)
Last edited by garyfishes on Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Happy 2nd Birthday!

Post by JohnYaksJax » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:50 pm

Hey Melita......Your "HOW Second Anniversary Post" last night was awesome, and you and your Team have accomplished so much in just two years.....AMAZING!!!

Nice to see you and Charlie in the "shop" today and sorry we did not have the Native clip...I will try to check with Clark tomorrow so see if we have it on order and let you know!!

You all do such a wonderful service for our Servicemen and Servicewomen.....THANKS for all you and your Volunteers do the them......JohnYaksJax

PS: Please ask Joe to let me off one SUN per mouth to work with your group...as a VERY fortunate Viet Nam Era Vet who stayed "stateside"....I owe the new Vets!!!

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Re: Happy 2nd Birthday!

Post by RLend » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:02 pm

Happy birthday to a great organization founded by great people doing great things for out vets. Did I mention they are great? :lol: Congrats and happy birthday!
Hobie Pro Angler 12
Hobie Outback

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