Jon Gross, Program Lead of the Canandaigua, NY Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program recounts a special day at the Ontario County Park in Naples, NY below:
On June 16, 2018 the Canandaigua, New York program held a fly fishing outing and picnic at Ontario County Park in Naples, NY. The program hosted 16 disabled veterans from the Canandaigua VA Medical Center who were escorted by Recreational Therapist Lucy Olson. There were 20 volunteers in attendance enabling each participant to be paired with a volunteer. For many of the participants attending this was their first fly fishing experience and many of them caught fish during the pleasant time spent in the park. All enjoyed a picnic lunch and fun raffle to close the day.
The group was quite surprised to discover upon their arrival that we were sharing the pond with a Cub Scout Fishing Derby. This sharing went great! Both groups fished side-by-side and caught fish. When the Cub Scouts finished their event early, they went around the pond as a group and thanked the veterans for their service.
Special thanks to the twenty volunteers who helped support the event (especially Will Faber and Max Hillring for helping organize the outing), Orvis Rochester for generously donating hats and a fly box with flies for raffle prizes, and volunteer Keith Lundy for taking pictures of the event.