Dominion Energy is a staunch supporter of the military and programs that serve active duty military service personnel and veterans. They demonstrate this commitment through various company-wide initiatives, donations, and employee volunteerism. The semi-annual PHWFF Back Creek event is a continuation of that policy, culture, and commitment. It has taken place since 2010 and is a three-day excursion that embraces veteran participants from our Virginia Region. This year, it took place April 18 – 20, 2017 on the delayed harvest section of Back Creek at the Dominion Resources Power Transfer Station just over the mountain from Warm Springs, Virginia. Ten PHWFF veteran participants attended the event and thanks to the tireless work and dedication of Dominion employees, they experienced two therapeutic (and very successful) days of trout fishing. The employees of Dominion Energy bent over backwards to make sure everything was in place and to ensure a fantastic time was had by the veterans participating.
Collaborative efforts between PHWFF, companies like Dominion, and foundations work well because at the heart of the matter we are all committed to serving our nation’s military and veterans. This event stands tall as a representative model of collaboration, patriotism, and selfless generosity. In addition to the great efforts and charity of Dominion, the event was reinforced by a grant from the Guilford Foundation of Richmond, VA which fully funded the event and outfitted all the veteran participants with everything they need to continue their healing immersion into the sport of fly fishing. The veterans attending received boots, waders, rain coats, fly rod and reel combo, packs and flies to facilitate their continued growth in the sport and the rejuvenation that our unique form of therapy offers. The Guilford Foundation has fully funded this great event since its inception and we’re honored by their continuous support of our cause and the veterans we serve.
The group arrived at the Country Cafe outside of Hot Springs on Tuesday April, 18 where they ate dinner and were presented with the fly-fishing equipment made possible by the Guilford Foundation. Lodging was provided in the nearby Hillcrest Motel and following dinner all settled in for a good rest to prepare for the great angling that lay ahead. The next morning began with an early reveille and 0630 departure for the Dominion Conference Room at the dam from which Back Creek flows. The meeting and ‘feeding’ facility and a supplemental trout stocking in Back Creek was donated by our great friends at Dominion Energy. A truly welcoming environment of comfort and community greeted the arriving veterans thanks to the tremendous efforts and dedication of the Dominion employees who selflessly donated their time towards making this a special occasion. Their contributions cannot be overlooked. Our special thanks to : Sean Fridley (Station Director), Doug Davis, Susan Davis, Tami Idol, Dave Taylor, Josh Robertson, Mickey Cayton, Craig Phillips, and Jerry Ryder.
Joining the group was CEO Todd Desgrosseilliers who spent his time visiting with the participants, volunteers, and Dominion employees along the banks of Back Creek. “It was an honor and a privilege to attend this special outing hosted by Dominion Energy on Back Creek,” says Desgrosseilliers, “their support of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing has, and will continue to have, a profound impact on our Nation’s wounded, ill, injured active duty military and disabled veterans in the decades to come.”
A hot and ample breakfast was served, beats assigned, safety cautions repeated and then the teams headed out to fish. After the catered lunch, the beats were changed and fishing started. Dinner was served at the facility and all returned for the night to the motel.
The next day, Thursday, repeated the early departure and breakfast. New beats were assigned and the fishing ran until lunch.
Activities concluded with a group photo alongside a special monument on Back Creek which holds great meaning to our volunteers and veterans. On October 10, 2012, Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling helped dedicate Back Creek as a dedicated “Home Waters” of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing in the Virginia Region (watch the dedication video below). Thus it was fitting to conclude these wonderful 3 days with a group photo alongside it. We are humbled and thankful for this special monument honoring our cause throughout the year on Back Creek. For us, it also stands as a reminder of the commitment, care, and patriotism of Dominion Energy and their employees of whom we will be forever grateful. As Claudia, a veteran participant this year, so eloquently stated, the experience on Back Creek was “magical.”