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Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing helps rehabilitate disabled veterans in mind and body

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (July 30, 2020) – Comptroller Peter Franchot virtually presented the Charles County William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award to retired United States Navy Capt. Ed Nicholson, founder of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF). Capt. Nicholson accepted the award on behalf of the program that has become the national model for the rehabilitation of disabled veterans and military personnel. 

After his own stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Capt. Nicholson founded the nonprofit organization as a way to augment the medical treatment of injured servicemen and women received through the positive and transformative  experience of fly fishing. The physical and emotionally rehabilitative effects of the program help warriors heal and foster the transition to civilian life after service, embodying the principles held dear by William Donald Schaefer, the late Baltimore mayor, Maryland governor and comptroller. 

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing is recognized as an innovative leader and model in the field of therapeutic outdoor recreation for people with disabilities through its successful application of the sport of fly fishing as a rehabilitation tool. PHWFF partners with the Department of Defense hospitals, Warrior Transition Units and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and clinics to serve disabled active military personnel and disabled veterans with more than 200 programs in the United States. Fly Fishers International, Trout Unlimited and independent fly fishing clubs are host partners for PHWFF at Department of Defense facilities throughout the nation.  

View the virtual ceremony here

Since 2012, Comptroller Franchot has annually traveled to each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions to honor an individual or organization serving their community. This year, all Schaefer Award presentations will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual press releases will be sent announcing each of the honorees, along with a link to view the virtual ceremony.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Susan O’Brien –  sobrien@marylandtaxes.gov
                                        443-875-8540 (mobile)

                                        Maureen O’Prey – moprey@marylandtaxes.gov 
                                        443-955-0223 (mobile)