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Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) takes great pleasure in presenting the Patriot Award to Donald Garber, for his exceptional support and dedication to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. from 2014 to the present.

During this period, Don committed a significant amount of his time and energy to the disabled active duty and disabled veterans we serve in his capacity as the Healing on the Fly – New York City Co-Chair. In 2014, Don approached the PHWFF staff attending The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, New Jersey to ask how he can support our Cause. After some discussion all agreed that he would make an ideal keynote speaker for the Healing on the Fly – New York City event in 2015. Don immediately agreed to support the event. As a lifelong fly angler, he recognized the potential therapeutic benefit of fly fishing and the ability of its associated activities to provide physical and emotional recovery to our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured veterans.

From 2015 to present, Don served as the event Co-Chair for Healing on the Fly New York City. During this period Don’s dedication and commitment proved instrumental to establish PHWFF as a nationwide nonprofit organization. Under his leadership and direction, the Healing on the Fly – New York City event raised $1,278,977.00 in revenue with an additional $400,000.00 expected from the 2019 event. Thus, bringing the total revenue raised to over $1.6 million. This combined revenue funded over 5,300 participants for an entire year in one of our more than 200 programs nationwide.

Through his lifelong commitment to community and family values, Don elevated Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing’s organizational reach and impact throughout the country. As a spokesperson and advocate for PHWFF, Don enabled our unique brand to reach countless organizations across the nation. As a true Patriot, he recognized the positive impact that our programs provide to disabled veterans’ lives. His steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Cause enabled access to funds that offer significant improvements in physical and emotional rehabilitative activities for the disabled veteran population that we serve.

Over the years, Don’s strong leadership and his personal commitment to philanthropy also helped recruit numerous volunteers to expand PHWFF’s core program activities that include: fly tying, fly rod building, fly casting, fly fishing education, and fly fishing outings. Don’s support was instrumental in enabling PHWFF to grow to 220 programs nationwide serving 8,300 participants with the help of over 4,000 volunteers. Don imbodies the PHWFF vision to create a community where our participants can heal. His devotion to our Cause has remained unfailing since his first contact with the organization in 2014.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is proud to bestow on Don Garber the Patriot Award for his tireless and extraordinary service to our organization and to those disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans whom this organization serves.