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Eric Workman Memorial Online Auction Now Open to Support PHW West Virginia

October 20, 2022

As part of the Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament, the online auction is now open! Amazing items such as a two-night stay at The Greenbrier, musky lures, musky flies, and trips offered through Pointer Outdoors. The auction will remain open until Friday, October 28th at 11:59 p.m. EST. All proceeds from the auction will support Project Healing Waters programs and participants in West Virginia.

http://auctions.networkforgood.com/go/PHWFFWVEricWorkmanMemorialOnlineAuction

Latest News

PHWFF West Virginia to Hold 2022 Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament

October 14, 2022

The 2022 Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament will be held on October 22nd and October 23rd, 2022. Anglers can fish anywhere in West Virginia, and the cost is $55 per angler (PHWFF participants fish for free). All proceeds benefit PHWFF programs in West Virginia, and go directly to support our participants on their journeys to healing. Anglers can register at https://tourneyx.com/leaderboard/standings/2022-eric-workman-memorial-musky-tournament.

West Virginia State Trooper Eric Workman was killed in the line of duty in August of 2012. After being shot down in the line of duty, the Trooper Eric Workman Foundation was created after the first memorial musky tournament was held in Eric’s memory in 2013. Each year, the foundation gave back to the community that had been by their side since the beginning in excess of $20,000 for numerous items for both law enforcement and the WVDNR Natural Resource Officers. Among the money given back to the community each year, the foundation donated to Project Healing Waters in West Virginia because they believed in our mission and what we were trying to do to serve those who have served us.

In 2021, PHWFF WV held the first Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament with the blessing and support of Eric’s family. It was a successful event, and we are looking forward to this year’s event! We are thankful for Eric’s family’s support throughout the years, and are honored that we can continue to honor Eric’s memory for years to come.

We are also accepting sponsorships for this year’s tournament. We have Gold Sponsorships for $500, Silver Sponsorships for $250, and Bronze Sponsorships for $100.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor can contact Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator at bubba.holt@projecthealingwaters.org.

We appreciate all of the support for the Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament and for PHWFF programs and participants in West Virginia. We look forward to a great tournament in 2022, and hopefully a lot of musky caught!

Can’t attend? You can honor Trooper Eric Workman and support PHWFF Programs in West Virginia by making a gift below.

Latest News

PHWFF WV Holds First Thornwood Event Since 2019

September 14, 2022

The PHWFF West Virginia region held its first annual Thornwood event since 2019, and the first one post-pandemic. It felt just like home being back at Thornwood 4-H Camp in Pocahontas County, and to celebrate, we had our biggest event ever!

We welcomed 150 participants and volunteers from programs in the WV region, and from other programs in other regions, including Tennessee Valley, Virginia, National Capital, Southeast, and the Midwest regions. The weather was absolutely beautiful; not a drop of rain all weekend, which may be the first Thornwood we have had without rain. A lot of fish were caught, friendships formed, and memories made.

Participants and volunteers began arriving on Friday afternoon, checked in, and were treated with welcome bags. The welcome bags included fly tying materials donated from The Tannery, Inc./Rocky Mountain Dubbing in Lander, Wyoming, coozies from Custard Stand Hot Dog Chili, Thornwood 2022 t-shirts donated by King Kutter II and made by Rio Grande University, and other goodies. Once they checked in, they got settled into the cabins and began reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. We had a kick-off speech by Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator, and then enjoyed a wonderful dinner, provided by Blue Roof Caterers. Blue Roof Caterers has provided the food for Thornwood the last few years, and they always do an amazing job. After dinner, attendees enjoyed some presentations and educational activities to get geared up for the next day of fishing.

Saturday morning, after breakfast, participants were teamed up with volunteer guides, and given assignments on where to go fishing. Some participants caught their first trout on the fly during this weekend. First-time attendee and Parkersburg participant Joshua S. said “It was an amazing experience. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. Any question I asked was answered without hesitation or judgments. The volunteers had an abundance of knowledge and helped me catch my first fish with a fly rod after only starting the day before. Couldn’t have had a better time and can’t wait until next year.” Fortunately, the weather was beautiful, and some participants stayed out all day fishing the beautiful trout waters surrounding Thornwood 4-H Camp.

During the afternoon on Saturday, we held our PHWFF WV Regional Casting Championship, where the winner would earn a trip to Bozeman, Montana, to compete in the PHWFF National Casting Championship. It was a great competition, and Parkersburg participant Chris E. came out on top. Chris said of the experience, “It was a surreal moment, as they were calling the names in finishing order. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest! When they called second place, I felt relief. It hadn’t hit me what it meant (Bozeman trip), I was focused on the day’s event. I’ve never won anything like this in my life, I just felt grateful.”

Saturday evening, when everyone came back from their fishing excursions, we had a wonderful dinner and then had some more presentations. The night finished out with some good old storytelling around the campfire.

Sunday morning came, we had breakfast, and everyone was on the road back to their respective towns, although some were definitely fishing on their way home. Everyone left the weekend with fond memories, and an excitement to come back for Thornwood 2023! This weekend would not have been possible without our amazing sponsors: Capstone Restaurant Group (Hardee’s), Coronado Coal, and the WV State Council of Trout Unlimited. “This was our first year back after laying off during COVID,” said Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator. “Not only that, it was our largest event yet. I think in the end, everybody had a good time. We got some amazing stories. And people enjoyed the fellowship that had been sorely missed the last couple of years. So thankful for everybody that helped out with this, our corporate sponsors, individual sponsors, and all the wonderful volunteers that gave their time to heal those who have served us. The Bartow Boys and I are going to have a few tricks up our sleeves for next year, so get ready!”

Matthew B., a participant from the Chattanooga program, had this to share about his experience at Thornwood: “My trip to Thornwood was by far the best experience I’ve ever had. Upon arrival, I was first blown away by the scenery and the lack of cell signal, which is exactly what I needed to unplug from society and just be at peace with nature. The first evening meeting while waiting in line to get a seat, I met 2 guys I served with in the Marines that I had not seen in 15 years, it was awesome. We literally started talking and reminiscing of our time in the Marines like time had not passed us by at all. The next day, we went with some of the Knoxville crew to fish. I had a rough start, I didn’t catch anything until I met Dakota on the trail. We hit it off quickly; he was so patient and informative. He really made me feel more confident in my ability to fly fish. That night, I tied flies with Dakota, and he also showed me how to build fly rods, and really has become a lifelong friend. I continue to speak with him regularly. Thornwood was hands down the most educational and fun I have ever had fly fishing. Bubba and his volunteers were top notch, and provided a new fly fisherman with more knowledge than I would ever get on my own. I can wait to come back.”

Thornwood 2023 will take place at Thornwood 4-H Camp in Pocahontas County, WV, June 2-4, 2023.

Latest News

PHWFF WV Region Benefits from Successful Greenbrier River Fly Fishing Classic

June 15, 2022

On May 14th, 2022, dozens gathered from West Virginia and beyond to fish in the annual Greenbrier River Fly Fishing Classic. It was a fun weekend full of fishing, great food, and even better camaraderie. Even though the tournament, put on every year by the GRFFC, is a third party fundraiser for the West Virginia region, it is also an outing for our participants. They fish for free in the tournament, and have lodging and food provided by the Greenbrier Youth Camp.

Andrew Cochran, Camp Director for the Greenbrier Youth Camp, said “Having the Greenbrier Fly Fishing Tournament at the Greenbrier County Youth Camp enables us to show off the beauty we have here in Southern West Virginia. Cochran continued, “Having the tournament here is already special, but the addition of the Healing Waters group allows you to experience the event with some of the bravest and most honorable Veterans you can ever meet. It’s our honor to host this can’t miss event at the Greenbrier County Youth Camp.”

Fortunately, the rain held off for the most part for the tournament, and really didn’t come down until after all of the boats were off of the water. All PHWFF participants were set up with guides and volunteers in boats that floated down the Greenbrier River, in search of the elusive smallmouth bass. A lot of participants got on fish, and one participant from the Parkersburg program, Chris E., won 3rd place for the tournament.

A lot of partners and vendors from the area donated items to the tournament, about $8,000 worth of items, and all tournament anglers, including all PHWFF participants, walked away with a lot of great stuff, including shirts, hats, fishing gear, automobile gear, and more.

After the event, the committee that puts on the Greenbrier River Fly Fishing Classic presented Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator, with a check for $2,750, that will go directly to programs in West Virginia. Our participants truly appreciate the support of that the Greenbrier River Fly Fishing Classic has given us for the past several years, and are already looking forward to next year’s tournament.

Latest News

Capstone Restaurant Group Donates $12,000 to PHWFF WV

April 12, 2022

In the fall of 2021, the Capstone Restaurant Group, which operates several Hardee’s in West Virginia, donated $12,000 to the PHWFF WV Region to help its 8 programs. In March of 2022, Randy Rippetoe, Regional Vice President, presented the check to Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator, at one of the Hardee’s locations in Charleston, WV. Brian Bolyard, PHWFF Charleston Program Lead, Kevin F., PHWFF participant, and two Hardee’s team members were also on hand.

The Capstone Restaurant Group has supported PHWFF WV for several years, and has donated to other regions as well. Since 2018, Capstone Restaurant Group has donated over $64,000 to PHWFF, with over $34,000 donated for West Virginia programs.

“The continued support from the Capstone Restaurant Group has been paramount in the success of our programs throughout the state of West Virginia and beyond,” said Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator. “We are so thankful to have Capstone Restaurant Group’s partnership over the last few years, and we look forward to working with them in the future to provide an awesome program for our disabled veterans.”

This sponsorship, along with our other great partners and volunteers, makes our annual regional outing at Thornwood, and all of the different activities we do with our disabled veterans in West Virginia successful.

Latest News

PHWFF WV Region Holds Successful Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament

November 22, 2021

On October 23rd and 24th, 2021, the West Virginia region of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) held its first ever Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament. The Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament was started in 2013 by the family of Trooper Eric Workman, who was tragically killed in the line of duty in 2012. When the family decided to discontinue doing the tournament as part of the Trooper Eric Workman Foundation, they graciously turned it over to PHWFF in West Virginia, as the region had been a recipient of tournament proceeds in the past. PHWFF WV was very honored to carry on the tournament in Eric’s memory. The tournament made just over $2,000 for the PHWFF WV region and the participants in our programs.

For the tournament, there were two divisions: the open division where anglers paid to fish, and the participant division where PHWFF participants fished for free. In the open division, there were 29 anglers, and for the participant division, there were 10 anglers. The fishing was tough for the weekend, but the memories were endless. For the open division, the winners were:
1st place – Brian Bridgewater – 4 fish, 140.25 inches
2nd place – Greg Mullenax – 1 fish, 38 inches
3rd place – Michael Zicafoose – 1 fish, 36 inches

For the participant division, only one participant caught a musky, so Bill Leasure of the Parkersburg, WV program won the participant division. We appreciate the support of First Light Outfitters, LLC, who guided a few of our participants, and allowed some of them to see their first ever musky.

Along with the tournament, we held an online auction supporting the tournament. We had many wonderful items including home decor, musky baits, and even a trip to Argentina.

We had wonderful sponsors who helped made this tournament successful. The sponsors include:
The Trooper Eric Workman Foundation
Ohio River Outdoors
Serenity Now Outfitters

Beyond the sponsorships, many businesses supplied items for the auction and prizes, including:
My Addiction Custom Lures
Awakin’ Blades
3 Arrows Forge & Woodshop
Crane Baits
Pointer Outfitters
Catch Cam Nets
Trophy Time Leaders & Lures
Bourne Outdoors

We also had many individuals donate items for the auction, including a participant who made wooden crosses and wooden West Virginia plaques. Additionally, Skyline Resort in Ghent, WV, provided lodging for the overnight outing and food for participants and volunteers.

“As Eric was a buddy of mine, and meant so much to West Virginia and the outdoorsmen community, I was honored that the Workman family chose PHWFF to carry on the tournament in Eric’s memory,” said Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator. “We could not have had this successful tournament without the support of the Workman family, and all of the additional support from our volunteers, participants, and everyone who graciously donated to our cause. I only hope that Eric was proud of this endeavor, and we look forward to an even bigger and better tournament in 2022.”

To keep up with all of the news happening in the West Virginia region of PHWFF WV, like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PHWFFWestVirginia.

Latest News

Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament Online Auction Open Now

October 21, 2021

The Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament online auction is now open until October 24th at 10 p.m. EST. We have over 30 items in the auction from musky lures to home decor to a dove hunt in Argentina and three knives forged by a History Channel “Forged in Fire” champion. We also have a Rapala Super Shad Rap with a West Virginia State Police logo with a musky that was made in memory of Trooper Workman after his tragic passing. There were a limited amount made, and Ohio River Outdoors, LLC donated one to us specifically for this auction. There are a lot of awesome items for fly fisherman, musky fisherman, and people who want some cool, unique items for their home.

The link for the auction is https://www.biddingforgood.com/PHWFF.

Check out the items today, and help support the Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament and disabled veterans in the programs in West Virginia.

Latest News

Trooper Eric Workman Foundation Becomes First Sponsor for Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament

September 20, 2021

The Trooper Eric Workman Foundation has become the first sponsor for this year’s Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament. When the Foundation decided to hand over the tournament to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) West Virginia, we were honored to be able to carry on the tournament in Eric’s memory. The Foundation then took their support another step by donating to help with the tournament, and therefore becoming the first sponsor for our 2021 tournament.

“PHWFF West Virginia is so grateful to be able to carry on this tournament in Eric’s memory to be able to support disabled veterans in our 8 programs in our state,” said Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator. “Now, with the additional support that the Trooper Eric Workman Foundation has provided us in the form of a sponsorship, we anticipate a very successful first year of the tournament under our umbrella, which means nothing but great things for our disabled veterans in our state. We will be forever honored by the Foundation and the family’s support of this endeavor.”

The Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament will be held on October 23rd and 24th, and anglers can fish anywhere in the state of West Virginia. The cost of the tournament is $55 per angler, and PHWFF participants will fish for free (please contact your Program Lead or Bubba Holt for the discount code). All proceeds of the tournament will go to support disabled veterans in the 8 programs in West Virginia.

We are working with TourneyX to manage registrations and the tournament itself. To register, please visit https://tourneyx.com/leaderboard/standings/eric-workman-memorial-musky-tournament.

If anyone has any questions about registration, the tournament itself, or how to support PHWFF WV, please contact Bubba Holt at bubba.holt@projecthealingwaters.org or by calling (304) 299-9617.

Latest News

PHWFF West Virginia to Host Eric Workman Memorial Musky Tournament

August 25, 2021

West Virginia State Trooper Eric Workman was killed in the line of duty in August of 2012. Eric chose that profession to give back and to protect his home state. A baseball star throughout his entire career, he was once pursued by the majors, but chose to settle down with his career in law enforcement in West Virginia. In his free time, he loved to fish, especially for musky.

After Eric’s tragic passing in the line of duty, the Trooper Eric Workman Foundation was created after the first memorial musky fishing tournament was held in Eric’s name in 2013. Each year, the foundation gave back to the community that had been by their side since the beginning in excess of $20,000 for numerous items for both law enforcement and the WVDNR Natural Resource Officers. Among the money given back to the community each year, the foundation donated to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. because they believe in our mission and what we were trying to do to serve those who have served us.

Due to COVID, the last tournament was actually held in 2019. Since then, the foundation has graciously honored PHWFF WV with the opportunity to continue the tournament on in Eric’s memory. We are thankful for their support throughout the years, and wish them peace and happiness, and hopefully knowing that PHWFF will continue to honor Trooper Eric Workman for years to come.

The tournament will be held on October 23rd and 24th, and anglers can fish in any West Virginia water. The proceeds from the tournament will benefit PHWFF in West Virginia, and will go directly to supporting our participants in our 8 programs.

The tournament will be managed through TourneyX, so all interested anglers in the tournament will need to register there. To register for the tournament, please click here.

The cost for the tournament is $55 per angler. PHWFF participants wishing to fish in the tournament will do so at no cost to them – just contact your Project Healing Waters Program Lead or Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator for the code.

For any questions or more information, please contact PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator Bubba Holt at bubba.holt@projecthealingwaters.org or at (304) 299-9617. You can also contact Sarah Holt, PHWFF Donor & Prospect Relations Manager, at sarah.holt@projecthealingwaters.org or at (301) 359-1088.

Register today, and fish on!

Can’t attend? You can honor Trooper Eric Workman and support PHWFF Programs in West Virginia by making a gift below.

Latest News

Capt. Joel Stewart Shares His Story with PHWFF WV Region

April 15, 2021

Monday evening, April 12, 2021, Captain Joel Stewart, sat down with the PHWFF WV region at 1800, 6 p.m. EST. When he presented to us, it was 0400, 4:00 a.m. his time where he is stationed on an island so remote you can only travel to the island via military orders. The fact that he even got up earlier than usual just to talk with us speaks volumes about this man, what he has done for his country, and what he does for our organization.

Capt. Joel Stewart currently serves in the United States Navy, and started the Baghdad School of Fly Fishing around the same time PHWFF got its own start. His experiences fishing on six different continents for a multitude of species have been shared with the public via his book, “A Fly Rod in My Sea Bag.” Proceeds from that book go directly to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. Those funds are used to make certain participants in our programs have the tools they need to succeed while chasing our finned quarry.

Monday night, he gave us a presentation about his experiences in Baghdad, which led him to write his book and even answered questions pertaining to his time overseas and everything he accomplished. Years ago, when I personally got involved with PHWFF, Capt. Joel Stewart had just written his book, and it was being shared throughout the organization. I got an opportunity to read it, and was amazed at how his passion was used to get others into the sport that we so dearly love. It’s basically what we do with PHWFF, and here it is in book form for all to read.

Not only has he agreed on that presentation, he’s also going to be presenting to the PHWFF WV region the next two Mondays, April 19th and April 26th, at 1800, 6 p.m. EST. We are really looking forward to what he has to say during these presentations, and how he answers questions pertaining to his time and travel around the world.

We are very thankful for Capt. Stewart to have given us his time. Time is the most precious commodity on this earth, and we cherish every single second someone is willing to give of their time to our organization. We are looking forward to the upcoming weeks – stay tuned!

For participants and volunteers registered in the CRM with PHWFF interested in watching Captain Stewart’s presentation, contact Bubba Holt, PHWFF WV Regional Coordinator, at bubba.holt@projecthealingwaters.org, and a link will be shared with you.

To learn more about Captain Joel Stewart, his story, and his travels, you can visit his blog at krazygoof.wordpress.com.