The National Professional Anglers Association has recently taken a giant step in achieving their goal to grow the sport of fishing by committing to the formation of the Future Angler Foundation. “This non-profit foundation is a direct investment in the sport,” said Pat Neu, Executive Director of both organizations.
With an emphasis on education and outreach, the Future Angler Foundation (FAF), a non-profit 501C3 foundation, will exist to bolster the sport. Neu said, “This is one of the most important things we can do for the future of the sport. We have the soldiers on the ground with a passion for that sport and we plan to leverage the FAF to increase what the NPAA is already doing.”
In 2011, the NPAA donated nearly $30,000 at retail cost in fishing tackle and t-shirts to numerous youth fishing events. All of these activities were orchestrated in conjunction with NPAA members at major fishing tournaments, or planned youth events. “The pressures of society have forced kids inside, and a couple of generations have missed the fun of the outdoors and especially fishing,” Neu said.
The Foundation will be one of many topics at the NPAA Annual Conference on January 6-8, 2012, in Minneapolis. Steve Pennaz, North American Fishing Club Executive Director will deliver the key-note address titled “Look to the Future.” National Guard fishing professional Scott Martin, winner of the 2011 Forrest Wood World Championship, with nearly $2,000,000 in tournament winnings, will also share his vision about the future of the sport. His presentation will be sponsored by Evinrude outboards. Conference Registration for current, new members and guests is at email@example.com.
The mission statement reads; “The Future Angler Foundation’s mission is to support the efforts of individuals and organizations that are willing to share their passion with people of all ages through outreach and education in a manner that will grow future participation in the sport of fishing.”
The FAF plans to support NPAA members hosting events, youth programs and fishing classes with rods and reels, shirts and tackle. “We want to get the right gear into the hands of people who will use it,” Neu said. Neu said as requests arrive, the product orders and payments will be sent from headquarters to NPAA Supporting Partners with direct shipments to those conducting the events.
NPAA members Dan and son Danny Plautz from the Milwaukee area hold a Memorial Day fishing event at a Wisconsin campground annually. Last year they requested assistance and received 25 rod and reel combinations. They told Neu, “These people will be long-time fishermen; we could see it on their faces.” Neu added, “This Foundation also plans to help organizations willing to partner with our association to achieve our mission.”
Two donations of $5,000 each will kick-start the FAF, when the full roll-out occurs early next year. “Thanks to James Keller and Richard Lowe for their generosity; we’ve already taken the first step in procurement of funding for the Foundation. I know additional funding for this project is out there,” Neu said.