Monday, January 24, 2011

Project Healing Waters @ The Somerset New Jersey Fly Fishing Show

Wow, what a weekend.

One of the best parts of having quit my 9-5 job last June is being able to help out with PHWFF.
This past weekend I was lucky enough to be able to help out at the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) booth at the fly fishing show over the weekend. Several other volunteers from New Jersey and New York were also at the booth, including members of Veteran Anglers of New York. Board members and employees also joined us. At some points we had so many volunteers it was hard to stand behind the booth!

Several vets from VANY visited the booth on Saturday and had a photo op with the van. A great bunch of guys who were joking around and kept me laughing. They spotted another Vietnam vet passing by during the photo op and went over to talk to him. They all said 'welcome home' to him. Other Vietnam vets stopped by the booth during the weekend and said the same thing to our volunteers who served in Vietnam. This was a new experience to me. I had never heard that before. 

The booth was located near the front doors of the convention center so lots of traffic passed. We raised several thousand dollars for PHWFF. We accepted donations for hats, pins, scarves, and stickers. Several generous individuals dropped cash and did not want anything in return. A few people walked by and put a hundred dollar bill in the donations bin. The saltwater guides from New York worked the crowd and sold a dozen raffle tickets in the first five minutes they were at the booth.

We also sold over a hundred raffle tickets at $10 each for a custom made bamboo rod. The rod is made from South American bamboo and features bamboo ferrules.

Dozens of anglers signed up to volunteer their time to PHWFF. Dozens of people who had never heard of us were now informed. We got the message out, raised some money, and had a great weekend. 

In addition to the monetary donations, Fish Pimp donated several soft goods and gadgets to the Two Fly tournament being held this May 1 at the Rose River Farm. In addition, Collins Hackle Farm donated a more than gracious amount of feathers to PHWFF for use in fly tying.

Below is a Marine with a dedicated fly fishing tattoo.

Greg Wood of Rivers Fly Fishing | Fly Fishing Shop and Guide Service

 A poster depicting flies for several military campaigns.

 The PHWFF van. Look for it on the way to the waters.

 Flies on display. One each for a branch of military.
 This is one of the most amazing flies I have ever seen.
 A purple heart fly by Dave Benoit.


Great report Rob-- hope to see you out at the 2-Fly in May!

Douglas Dear
Chairman, PHWFF

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