Ever wonder what the future of fishing holds in your community, on your favorite lake, or even in your backyard pond? What will become of our beloved lakes, streams and lagoons we as anglers are so passionate about? What will your legacy be, and what steps will you take to preserve your passions for future generations to enjoy and appreciate? It is said, action speaks louder than words, and a small group of anglers in Central Florida have taken their passion to the next level by sharing it with others through the Anglers for Conservation’s Hook Kids on Fishing Program.
Throughout the year, the Orlando Chapter of the AFC has made incredible progress reaching out to our youth in Central Florida through a series of free kids and youth fishing programs schedules and conducted through the Central Florida community. Every angler I know remembers their first fishing rod and their first fish, so in today’s fast paced world, take your action to the streets and become involved in preserving the future of fishing and the outdoors.
Thus far in 2016, the Orlando Chapter of the AFC has conducted seven HKOF Programs in Central Florida introducing 680 kids to fishing, and once completed each child received a new fishing rod, reel and tackle box to take home as their own thanks to grants from the Fish Florida Foundation and their specialty license plate program. In addition to the 680 kids taught so far in 2016, three more HKOF Programs are still scheduled in Central Florida this year making the total number of kids reached over 1000, and when you add in their parents those numbers double. All of these programs are conducted by an all-volunteer group at no cost to the kids or their parents.
In addition to the ten HKOF events in 2016, the Orlando Chapter has donated over 10,000 dollars to area youth fishing programs in an effort to promote and support youth fishing in Florida. Some of the organizations receiving funding were: Teen Sports Fishing Association, Seminole Teen Anglers, the 2016 Herman Lucerne Memorial Tournament, Bobby Lane High School Cup Tournament, and the University of Central Florida Bass Fishing Team.
On Saturday October 22nd at 2 pm, the gates open to Gumbo Wars at Fish on Fire Restaurant in Orlando. Gumbo Wars is the primary fund raiser for the AFC Orlando Chapter featuring 26 gumbo teams from across the country. For a 10.00 donation to AFC, you can eat all of the gumbo you want and join in on the fun with great entertainment, silent auction, and the Great Outdoor Toy Raffle. All of this is available for your enjoyment thanks to a tight band of passionate angler and their likeminded community partners. Volunteer for a Hook Kids on Fishing event near you, or simply join us for some great food and fun at Gumbo Wars.
AFC Orlando Fall Event Schedule
October 15th – Wings and Wildflowers Hook Kids on Fishing in Leesburg 100 Kids
October 22nd – AFC Gumbo Wars Fund Raiser at Fish on Fire in Orlando
November 5th – City of Casselberry Hook Kids on Fishing Program 100 Kids
November 19th – Johns Lake Hook Kids on Fishing Program with Orange County 60 Kids
See you there,
Captain Tom Van Horn
Captain Tom Van Horn