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Southlake Style

Charity for the Outdoors

Feb 29, 2012 01:05PM ● By Mike

In a couple of months, it’ll be that time of year where we get to write a check (or, if you’re lucky, get one) to the IRS. Many years ago, I quickly learned to donate to a charity of my choice and keep record of it for write offs. The part I struggled with was deciding on which cause to donate to. After many months of research and investigation, it occurred to me that there are many charities with local chapters here in the great state of Texas related to the things I’m passionate about the most.
For those that don’t know me, I’m proud to say that I’m a cancer survivor. Surviving is a blessing and a monumental feat in and of itself. What I’m more grateful for is that in my continual recovery, I have had the opportunity to be involved with a group of charities listed below that target those that hunt and fish. They all are different as some cater to only women, some only men, and some to Veterans, yet not all are related to cancer survivors. It brings a warm feeling to your heart when you’re able to do something for someone in need. Sometimes, just writing a check will do, but actually taking a part in volunteering is even better. It’s ALL rewarding when you can find ways to help a group of people that may have gone through similar situations that hit close to home. The information below can be found on the organization’s websites. Volunteer and donation links can be found there as well.

Hunters for the Hungry
This is a statewide hunger relief program dedicated to providing a healthy source of protein to needy Texans. Our mission is to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in Texas by distributing donated venison to those in need, to provide a meaningful outlet for hunters to help their communities, and to promote environmental stewardship through wildlife management.
To donate deer to Hunters for the Hungry, hunters must first find a participating processor. Then you simply bring your legally tagged, field dressed deer to the meat processor and pay the reduced processing fee. Due to state regulations, other wild game is not accepted. You will receive a receipt for your donation. The reduced processing fee is typically about $35, which pays for the processor’s labor. The processing fee may be tax-deductible; consult your tax advisor for details. There is nothing else you need to do; the meat processor will prepare the meat and provide it to a local food assistance provider.

Casting for Recovery
This organization was founded in 1996 in Manchester, Vermont, the unique brainchild of a breast cancer reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisher. It began as a local grassroots group with a big heart and an original national vision, and quickly received endorsements from medical and psycho-social experts for its innovative healing program model while at the same time provoking intense interest by national media.
Casting for Recovery was founded on the principles that the natural world is a healing force and that cancer survivors deserve one weekend — free of charge and free of the stresses from medical treatment, home, or workplace — to experience something new and challenging while enjoying beautiful surroundings within an intimate, safe, and nurturing structure.
They provide an opportunity for women whose lives have been profoundly affected by the disease to gather in a natural setting and learn the sport of fly fishing. Just as importantly, the retreats offer an opportunity to meet new friends, network, exchange information, and have fun.

Project Healing Waters
Since 2005, the volunteers of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing have been dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of active duty military personnel, Reserve, Guard and Veterans with disabilities. In more than 100 programs throughout the United States, participants are engaged in recreational and rehabilitative activities in which they learn fly tying, fly casting, rod building and fly fishing. Participants experience a feeling of accomplishment from these activities, and it’s heartwarming for us and their families to see healthy attitudes as they recover and readjust.

Reel Recovery
Reel Recovery was founded in 2003 by a group of avid fly-fishers, inspired by their fishing buddy’s ongoing battle with brain cancer. Witnessing first-hand the beneficial impact fly-fishing provided their friend, they created Reel Recovery to provide the same opportunity for other men battling the disease. Combining expert fly-fishing instruction with directed “courageous conversations”, the organization provides men with all forms of cancer a unique opportunity to share their stories, learn a new skill, form lasting friendships and gain renewed hope as they confront the challenges of cancer.

Southlake's Rafe Hembree is a born and raised Texan, husband and father of two. Rafe, a Texas Tech alumn, has been hunting and fishing since he was knee high to a praire dog. A true outdoorsman and conservationist, he travels the world in search of the best hunting and fishing locales, especially for his favorite activity - Saltwater Fly Fishing. A volunteer guide with Reel Recovery Rafe looks forward to sharing his experiences with family, friends and readers of Southlake Style.