Industry Leading Company Donates $1500 to Each Program

COLUMBIA, S.C. (February 16, 2012) – Fishing Industry leader, Pure Fishing recognizes two of the top youth fishing programs with $1500 checks to further the goals and objectives of each organization. Friends of the Sportfishing Heritage (Project F.I.S.H) and Fishing’s Future were selected as top award winners for their continued service to grow the sport of fishing through youth involvement.

“For the last 18 years I have worked with youth and aquatic education programs,” said Roxanne Coleman, Field Marketing Manager Pure Fishing. “The most well known programs are those that are fully funded and typically run by state agencies. However, Project F.I.S.H and Fishing’s Future do not receive state funding, yet both are quickly headed toward national recognition. When Pure Fishing looked at what these programs have accomplished with so little we are excited to see what’s possible with a little extra funding. Our hope is other industry leaders will add their support for these and other independent non-profit groups. “

Project F.I.S.H (http://projectfish.org) was the brainchild of Mark Stephens and and various volunteers based out of East Lansing, at Michigan State University. For more than fifteen years he has been the driving force for youth fishing programs in the state of Michigan. Recently, Mark turned his direction to in-school programs, which has led to a Train the Trainer program. The program is intended to provide instruction for schoolteachers, police officers, senior citizens and many others. Stephens gives anyone a chance to learn how to fish so they possess the skills to teach their students, neighborhood youth groups or their own children.

“This is a great opportunity for our angling program,” said Stephens. “Our goal is to reach and educate as many new anglers as possible, and with the contributions of great companies like Pure Fishing we are able to make that happen.”

Fishing’s Future (http://fishingsfuture.org) was founded by Shane Wilson. A twenty-year veteran of public education, Shane brought his vision of reconnecting families to life in six states with twenty-two chapters. The South Padre Island, Texas organization’s mission is to reconnect kids to nature while connecting kids to family. Fishing’s Future teaches environmental stewardship, and increased awareness for the protection, conservation and restoration of our nation's aquatic natural resources.

“Reconnecting parents to children through a fishing experience does more than just preserve the sport, it strengthens the family dynamics and reinforces the tremendous joys found in fishing together as a family,” said Wilson. “Pure Fishing brands have been part of my family for 4 generations, and their continued support and dedication to fishing has given me thousands of memories with my grandparents, parents, my son and hopefully with my granddaughter. We greatly appreciate this very generous award and will use it to continue reuniting families and new young anglers to a the fun filled world of fishing."