Industry rallies round to help Bahamas hurricane victims
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Angling organisations and businesses across the US, including Bass Pro Shops and Pure Fishing, have rallied together to support those in The Bahamas affected by the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian.
Last week Bass Pro’s founder and owner, Johnny Morris, announced the formation of Anglers for the Bahamas, a support campaign founded in the wake of the disaster. Working together with fishing industry partners, the campaign has secured initial donations approaching nearly $4million.
At the weekend Morris pledged $1million personally and challenged Bass Pro and Cabela’s customers to turn that into $2million by getting involved in the campaign.
Bass Pro Shops is contributing a minimum of $1million towards relief efforts, including $500,000 worth of donated goods and $500,000 in cash to the Convoy of Hope, an international humanitarian relief organisation. As part of the donation, the outdoor retailer is contributing thousands of essentials supplies, including family-sized tents, outdoor cooking kits and protein-rich Jack Links Beef Jerky.
“All of us at Bass Pro Shops are heartbroken by the devastation in The Bahamas, which holds a special place in the hearts of all anglers,” said Morris. “We understand that fishermen and many others feel the same way and want to help, but simply do not know where to start. This was our inspiration to create Anglers for the Bahamas: Fishin for a Mission.
“Beyond our pledge of financial support, we feel we can play a greater role in supporting The Bahamas and its wonderful people by uniting anglers with the efficient and highly respected relief organisation, Convoy of Hope.”
Several high profile individuals and business partners have already pledged to donate, including: Pure Fishing ($75,000), Navico Marine Electronics ($50,000), True Timber ($25,000) and Engel Coolers ($25,000).
The American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA), alongside the Yellow Dog Community & Conservation Foundation (YDCCF) and Angling Trade have formed a single coalition to collect funds that will go directly towards the relief efforts.
Other organisations that have got involved are the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust in cooperation with the Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund and the International Gamefish Association (IGFA) in partnership with Costa Sunglasses and the Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) in aid of fishermen impacted by the tragedy.