Proj. Healing Waters Two Fly Raises $110k for Wounded Warriors
SYRIA, VA -- The Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Inc. 2-Fly Tournament (www.phw2fly.blogspot.com) is billed as a competition where those who catch the most feisty rainbow trout win trophies. Yet, SPC. Billy Herrell, who finished way back in the event was all smiles as he made his way around Rose River Farm (www.roseriverfarm.com) where the benefit was held May 2, to raise money to help soldiers and veterans injured during service to their country.
“I caught trout on the fly rod and I had a lot of fun. Who could ask for more?” said Herrell, who must get around with the aid of a walker due to severe back injuries he received while serving in Iraq. Herrell is stationed at the Warriors in Transition Unit at Fort Eustis.
Ed Nicholson, founder, president and chief executive officer for Project Healing Waters, said, “The tournament aspect of the 2-fly is really a pretense to get us all together to have fun and raise money to provide, fly fishing training and outings for even more service members recovering from wounds or injuries.”
If smiles and donations were the goal, the 2-fly was a tremendous success. Everyone who participated caught fish and the event raised more than $110,000, a new record for the 2-Fly, which is in its fourth year.
Thirty two-man teams participated in the fly fishing contest and 15 of those teams paired an active-duty service member or veteran with a more experienced fly angler. Ten teams with corporate sponsors competed in a Pro/Vet category and 20 teams competed in an open category.
The winners of the Pro/et category were:Army Specialist Caleb Huss, of Woodbridge, Va., and guide Eric Stroup, from Spruce Creek, Pa. Army Sergeant First Class Jose Ortiz, of Ft. Belvoir and guide Chris Murphy of Warrenton, Va. Marine Sergeant (ret.) Sean Locker, of Dahlgren, Va., and guide William Heresniak, of Manassas, Va. The largest fish award went to LCPL (ret.) John Gilroy of Salisbury, N.C.
In the open category only two trophies were awarded. The winners were: Jason Baker and Chris Smith, both of Charlotte, N.C. The largest fish award went to Garretson Carter of Alexandria, Va. The event was sponsored by The Orvis Company, Temple Fork Outfitters, Rose River Farm, Dominion, and numerous other companies that donated fishing gear, gift certificates and other items for a raffle.
Project Healing Waters Fly fishing, Inc. (www.projecthealingwaters.org) is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings. Project Healing Waters was founded in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is a registered 501c3, non-profit organization. PHWFFI currently has 86 programs in 70 Veteran’s hospitals and 16 military facilities. The organization’s programs operate in 37 states, Canada and U.S. military facilities in Germany with the assistance of Trout Unlimited Chapters, the Federation of Fly Fishers and independent fly fishing clubs.