Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) takes great pleasure in presenting the Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award to Dick Barnett for his dedicated and inspiring service to our organization from 2014 to 2019. During this period, his selfless efforts and extreme generosity were directly responsible for the initial start-up, growth, and continuous improvement to the organization’s Program in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
In 2014, Dick attended an informational PHWFF presentation at a monthly meeting for the Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA). During the presentation, Dick Barnett, a Navy veteran, avid fly angler, and local businessman, recognized PHWFF’s value to the veteran community, and he immediately began developing a vision for a new program to serve the greater Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Dick then worked with the local IWLA leadership to establish Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Chapter of IWLA as the program’s sponsoring organization.
Once Dick established the program infrastructure Dick led the volunteers to personally engage with the local veteran community to recruit the first PHWFF Fredericksburg Program participants. In the following five years, Dick led the team in volunteering over 6700 hours to develop and sustain the Fredericksburg Program. His steadfast leadership and management created a thriving program presently including 11 volunteers, five participant-volunteers, and 20 participants. Today, the Fredericksburg Program meets monthly and conducts nine local outings and three overnight outings each year.
In addition to his personal commitment to the PHWFF mission and demonstrated continuous and extraordinary service, Dick provided significant material support for the program. To date, the Fredericksburg Program received over $28,000 in donations through his personal contacts. Further, he personally donated over $15,000 to PHWFF to support the local program activities. He also provided significant material support to the Fredericksburg Program in recent equipment donations valued at over $4000.
Dick Barnett’s tireless efforts combined with his exceptional leadership, organizational skills, and selfless generosity proved instrumental in starting, growing, and maturing the PHWFF Fredericksburg Program. Throughout this period, he served as the key player in establishing the Fredericksburg PHWFF Program – thereby providing a community where our participants can heal.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is proud to bestow upon Dick Barnett the Phil Johnson Exceptional Leadership Award for his tireless and extraordinary service to our organization and to those wounded, ill, and injured servicemen and servicewomen and disabled veterans whom this organization serves.