A day after the 9/11 atrocities, a group of fishermen, fishing rods and tackle boxes in hand, boarded a half-day sportfishing boat at Davey’s Locker in Newport Beach, Calif.
Their message was simple: Life goes on. With the pain still fresh, they urged others to continue on with their lives as normally as possible. Don’t let the terrorists win, they all said.
A day later, Chuck Robinson, another fisherman, dealt with the despair many Americans were facing with a novel idea. He established a volunteer organization called Fish4America. From his website:
On September 13th Chuck Robinson, an avid Southern California recreational angler, was suffering from the same despondent helplessness that overcame most Americans after the attack. While listening to his car radio, he heard a report that the Hard Rock Café in Manhattan was feeding the rescue workers and surviving victims of the attack, but had run out of food. The thought occurred to him that many hundreds of pounds of prime sport caught fish were sitting in the collective freezers of his fishing buddies. What if there was some way to rally his fellow anglers, and get this valuable food to New York? His first call was to good friend, and fellow angler, Earl Durham. Earl's enthusiasm helped fortify Chuck's resolve to take his campaign to the next level.The simple idea grew beyond Robinson’s expectations. More from the website:
Not long after that, Fish4America contributed another 4,000 pounds of fish and spurred a fundraising event at the Hard Rock Café in Newport Beach, Calif., that raised more than $13,000 for future shipping costs of fish. Leftover funds went to the N.Y. City Firefighter’s Association Widows and Orphans Fund. Within only 48 hours, 2500 lbs. of recreationally caught albacore, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, wahoo, shark and mahi-mahi were sitting in freezer storage at New Fishall Bait company in Gardena, CA and 1000 lbs. were packaged for shipment. Golden State Container Co. donated the packaging supplies and members of the InternetFishing.com message board supplied the fish and labor to make this happen. On September 17th, the first 1000 lbs. were shipped, courtesy of the employees of the Irvine, CA FedEx station. The next day, another InternetFishing.com member, Triet Le, met the fish, hailed a NY cab and hand delivered the fish to The Hard Rock Café. They started feeding the rescue workers with it the same day. Just one week after the tragedy, our fish was being used to feed the people working in "The Pit". FISH4AMERICA was born.
Outdoors 720 commemorates the anniversary of 9/11 by remembering the role fishing played in helping fishermen (and others) recover from the atrocities against our nation.
May we never forget!
God bless the United States of America!
Read the stories about Fish4America here, here and here.
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