Media Release: - For Immediate Release July 9, 2008
Healing On The Albany – Ready to Go!
On July 12th, seven American and three Canadian soldiers will be the guests of a Canadian adventure travel company, Wilderness North of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and marks the first time the American non-profit group Project Healing Waters (PHW) will stage an event outside of the U.S. and one that includes non-U.S. soldiers.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (www.projecthealingwaters.org) was started at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC by retired Navy Captain Ed Nicholson through partnerships with the Federation of Fly Fishers and The National Capital Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The program grew and is now a nationwide program serving vets across the United States and now, Canada. The skills required to fly fish and tie flies have proven to be a valuable tool in the rehabilitation of these heroes who have been wounded from all conflicts that the U.S. and Canada have been involved in.
PHW event coordinator Mark Snyder said the July 12-20 event – Healing on the Albany – is the result of contributions from both sides of the border, both as cash, and in the form of equipment and services. “It all started when Wilderness North owners, Alan and Krista Cheeseman, made their gift of 10 fly in fishing adventure trips to their Miminiska Lodge on the Albany River and includes round trip flights from Thunder Bay, and all food, lodging, boats and motors for the soldiers, a value of over $30,000.” Wilderness North published a story about the soldiers in an e-newsletter sent to their own e-mail subscribers, who in turn responded with over $12,000 dollars in cash.”
Ed Newby of Chicago, a retired airline pilot from American Airlines has donated his private plane and that of friend Bob Buttgen who will fly the U.S. soldiers from Chicago to Thunder Bay on July 11th and back to Chicago on July 20th. American Airlines has donated all flights for the U.S. soldiers to and from Chicago. Inova Federal Credit Union gave $5000 from members and employees, the North Shore Steelhead Association of Thunder Bay is paying a portion of the expenses for the Canadian soldiers, an elementary school in Pittsburg, PA had a fund drive to raise money and Tourism Thunder Bay is coordinating media distribution and sponsoring the shuttle service while they stay in Thunder Bay. Other contributors include RIO Products (Idaho Falls, ID), Cabelas (Sidney, NE), The Fly Fisherman (Clermont, FL), Temple Forks Outfitters (Dallas, TX), Orvis (Manchester, VT), Korkers (Portland, OR) and St. Moritz (Vancouver, BC)
While in Thunder Bay, guests will enjoy a breakfast reception with representatives from the Thunder Bay Military community and tour Fort William Historical Park as guests of Tourism Thunder Bay.
Aboard those big orange Wilderness North de Havilland Otter floatplanes taking off from Thunder Bay on the morning of July 12th will be ten brave men who suffered the injuries of war, now on their way to the peace of the lush green boreal forests of Northwestern Ontario - - a borderless trip made possible by both U.S. and Canadian persons, who through their gifts, say “Thank You” to those who protect our freedoms everyday.
A media opportunity will be held at 11:45 AM, Saturday July 12th, 2008 at the Wilderness North seaplane base, located at 531 Shipyard Drive, Thunder Bay, ON.
Project Healing Waters-Washington D.C.-Mark Snyder
Wilderness North – Thunder Bay, ON – Wayne Blackmon