California Recreation Freedom Alliance
A California Unincorporated Association
On Sunday, October 3rd we held our first Wounded Warriors Benefit Fishing Tournament. This tournament matched local fisherman up with our soldiers who have sacrificed so much for our country. The event was held at Lake San Vicente and was attended by some 45 Warriors and 36 local fisherman who donated their time, boats, and equipment to this worthy cause.
The outpour of volunteerism by the fishing community was truly overwhelming. We had more boats and fishermen volunteer, than we had warriors to take out fishing. There was a tremendous amount of donations from the local fishing industry including tackle, apparel, ice chests and gift cards. Everyone who participated was able to go away with some type of raffle gift.
All this being said, the excitement of the warriors being given this opportunity and the satisfaction on the faces of the volunteers/fishermen has truly filled my heart with joy. I saw friendships being forged and a good time being had by all. I saw the dedication of the community in their support of these brave individuals and the service that has been rendered in the protection of our country and all that this country stands for. I saw everything that is good in these United States and the strength of the true American Spirit. For this, I will always be grateful.
This event could not have happened without several very dedicated individuals who stand out for the time and effort given towards this event. Tom Lowery, for the compilation of all the donations that were used for the raffle and awards. Mark Christman and his organization of military fisherman for the logistics at the lake and all their help on the day of the event. Dwayne and Debbie Patenaude without who’s help and dedication to this project, this event could not have been a success. Dwayne was able to organize the BBQ lunch with donations and trips to Costco, and Debbie did and outstanding job organizing all the Warriors who attended. Jim Sleight and his crew, who orchestrated the tournament itself. Jim and his crew worked tirelessly all day to get Warriors with boaters, get everyone on the lakes, doing the weigh in and the awards ceremony. His crew worked tirelessly all day and a mere thank you will never be enough. Jim’s heart is always in the right place and I’m proud to call him my friend. And there are many others who helped out and worked tirelessly all day that I have failed to mention but without their help, this event could not have been such a huge success. I am grateful to each one who participated and lent a helping hand.
I would also like to thank the lake staff who went above and beyond for this event. William Kunkle and his lake staff made the tournament staffs’ task of putting on this event very seamless with all their assistance. We could not have asked for a better team to work with at the lake.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to San Diego City Councilmember, Raul Campillo who attended our event and showed his support for the program and to our military. We know how busy he is and taking the time out of his busy schedule to be at our event speaks volumes.
I am grateful to be associated with all these great individuals and for the dedication shown to our military and the sacrifices that they have made on our behalf and that of our families. May we always remember their service, and their commitment to our freedom and way of life. May the Lord Bless This Country and the Military that serves it.
John Blake, President