MASON, Mich. — A local veteran wants to give his fellow vets a day of fishing on the lake with family and friends, regardless of physical or financial hardships.
Through his newly formed non-profit, Fishing It Forward Michigan, Ed Henley is literally fishing it forward everyday, for their largest events yet, Vets With Nets.
"What people don't understand is that one day out of the veterans life, just to forget about real life things, it can mean a lot," said Henley of Mason. "It's not just the veterans that have the struggle, it's their families too."
That's why Henley is trying to reel in every resource so that on August 24th, vets and their families can fish and eat for free on Lake Erie.
"75% of the major businesses in the city of Mason have either contributed or donated," said Henley.
With a $6000 dollar goal and six weeks to the event, Fishing It Forward is about $2500 short.
"We are brand new so trying to get a brand new thing rolling is always hard," explained Henley. "People don't know who you are and you have to prove yourself."
Fishing It Forward is doing online raffles and selling decals to raise the remaining amount.
"We can't do it if we don't have help."
Besides monetary donations, Henley is also looking for people with boats, willing to take the veterans out on the water.
"We are hoping for 75 boats. We will take more if we can get them, but it's gonna happen, if we get one boat or 75 boats, it's gonna happen."
Currently, nearly 20 captains have signed up, meaning as of now,about 40 veterans can participate in the event.
Henley will use the rest of the month to try to recruit more captains before officially opening up veteran registration.
"If there is a veteran in another city or state that wants to come fishing with us, they are more than welcome," said Henley. "That is what we are here for."
Fishing It Forward is partnering with Fishing Has No Boundaries out of Wisconsin to supply fishing equipment that will allow veterans, regardless of any handicap, to be able to fish for the August event.
For how to donate to Fishing It Forward, click here.
To sign up as either as a captain, click here.
For updates on veteran registration, click here.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.