Walleyes for Wounded Heroes, Inc., (W4WH) provides opportunities for our nation’s current or former uniformed members of the United States Armed Forces, sworn Law Enforcement Officers, sworn Fire Fighters and sworn or affirmed Emergency Medical Responders, all of whom have been injured from combat operations or line-of-duty service, to fish and reconnect with nature’s healing properties. Charter captains and private boat owners take our Wounded Heroes walleye fishing for a 4-day event annually during the last week of June at no charge. W4WH provides lodging, meals, entertainment, and transportation around Port Clinton, Ohio and nearby areas.
The mission of W4WH is to honor and empower our men and women. Founded in 2012, our enrichment event, Lake Erie fishing, has grown and been refined annually. W4WH partners with civic, social, and service organizations as an all-volunteer 501(c)3, non-profit, non-discriminatory, non-sectarian organization. A growing number of volunteers execute projects, set daily itineraries, secure transportation, lodging, meals, insurance, and funding and/or in-kind contributions. Heroes participate free of charge. Referrals come from employers, social service/public agencies, and by word of mouth. Men and women are served; no one is turned away unless space of funding restricts. Volunteer staff often includes doctors, nurses, counselors and professionals attending as escorts. It is not unusual for Heroes to describe renewed spirit and appreciation for the opportunity to participate in positive “activities of a lifetime,” interacting “like normal people” with similarly injured Heroes and W4WH escorts. Our Lake Erie event is funded through donations by individuals, civic/service organizations, business/companies, fund raising events, and in-kind contributions from every source W4WH can generate.
Currently, we are anticipating being able to fully sponsor 100 wounded heroes from Ohio and surrounding states this year. As in previous years, we have confirmation of Heroes along with their physician, medics, and chaplain from the Kentucky Wounded Heroes organization from Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. In addition, we have partnered the Ottawa County, Ohio VA office, Ottawa County, Ohio Commissioners Office, Lake Erie Island and Shores Tourism Department, Purple Hearts and Heroes Foundation, and the Military Order of the Purple Hearts.
Now with this year’s exciting news…………. The nationally televised TV series, “Fishing 411 with Mark Romanack,” (http://www.fishing411.net) which is currently featured on the World Fishing Network and satellite TV has joined forces with W4WH. After several meetings, Mr. Romanack has agreed to film this year’s event of W4WH and has already videotaped You Tube promotional videos. His plans are to produce our event into one (or more) of his aired episodes. This is very exciting news for us to have national exposure for such a worthwhile cause, and we anticipate further collaborations with Mr. Romanack in the future!!!