Thunder Bay has been chosen as the launch site of the second annual Healing On The Albany event scheduled for July 10 through the17th.
“After last year’s exceptional welcome, we did not even consider any other city from which to begin our Canadian adventure” said Mark Snyder, event coordinator for the organization Project Healing Waters. The non profit group was founded by a retired U.S. military officer – Ed Nichols - to assist wounded soldiers in their physical and psychological healing after battle field trauma. “Learning and practicing the art of fly fishing offers these soldiers a peaceful place to acquire the skills of angling” Snyder said.
In July 2008 soldiers from both the U.S. and Canada were officially welcomed to Thunder Bay and then to Miminiska Lodge a Wilderness North Fly In Fishing destination on the Albany river.
The ten soldiers in this year’s event have all be selected by “Soldier On” in Canada and by Project Healing Waters in the U.S. to enjoy a week in the boreal forest of Northwestern Ontario, after suffering serious injuries in foreign wars.
During their stay last year, soldiers were also special guests at the Fort Hope’s Eabamatoong First Nation Pow Wow, and honored in a special community wide ceremony. Plans include another such ceremony this year.
“However, it’s mostly R&R” said Snyder as he reviewed his list of gifts from the public in general in the form of cash contributions, and from organizations like Orvis Company who donate the fly fishing tackle, and American Airlines who provide the flying for the U.S soldiers. Snyder goes on, “The key to the entire project is the gift from Wilderness North. Alan and Krista Cheeseman provide the wilderness flying, the lodge, the food and the boats and guides and their staff treats these soldiers like royalty.”
Tourism Thunder Bay is once again supporting Project Healing Waters through media coordination and related services. “Thunder Bay has developed a phenomenal reputation as a warm and welcoming community. We are proud to help support this project by welcoming these brave Canadian and U.S. service personnel into our community and thanking them for their service.” according to Paul Pepe, Manager of Tourism Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay’s Victoria Inn has donated rooms for the arriving soldiers on July 10 and will host a press conference breakfast scheduled for 8:30 A.M. on Saturday July 11. More information on Project Healing Waters can be found at www.projecthealingwaters.org or at www.wildernessnorth.com
Contact: Wayne Blackmon Wilderness North 888-465-3474
Mark Snyder- Project Healing Waters – 301-325-1312