LL Bean Continues Generous Donations to Further Work of TU Chapters with Youth and Veterans

Shannon Mayes of the Madmen chapter in Ohio shows off a trophy rainbow trout caught by a youth participant in the chapter's TU Teens club during a recent outing to Elk Springs Resort in West Virginia.

By Gunnar Baskin

This year, LL Bean was gracious enough to donate more than 340 Angler II Rod and Reel outfits to Trout Unlimited chapters across the country to help strengthen and support the work we do for veterans and youth.

The rods will be put to great use and we are excited to maintain and continue a strong, healthy and mutually beneficial relationship with the LL Bean Company for 10 years running in which they have donated over $400,000 worth of fishing gear for chapters and councils to engage their communities.

This year, more than 80 chapters were fortunate enough to receive a gift from LL Bean. The selection process was tougher than ever, with more than 240 chapters applying for a donation. All of the applications were inspiring and it was an enlightening to learn of all the fantastic work being done to carry the mission of TU forward in your communities.

Many of the chapters that received the LL Bean donations have already used the rods to improve both their veterans and youth fly fishing programs. 

The Narragansett Chapter in Rhode Island recently utilized their new LL Bean rod and reel combos to introduce veterans to fly fishing during their local Dare to Dream Ranch veterans fishing day (above). Nine veterans participated in a hands-on casting clinic at one of the many ponds at Deer Creek Farm. The chapter also plans to use the rods for their children’s fly fishing event in mid-September. 

This past weekend, the Madmen Chapter in Ohio used the LL Bean rods they received for a special outing at Elk Springs Resort in West Virginia. The TU Teens Club of Gallipolis, led by Madmen Youth Education Chair Shannon Mayes, took eight of the 100-plus members of the club on the retreat. For many of the at-risk youth this club serves, this was their first ever vacation.

In Colorado, the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter put their LL Bean fly rods into action during their fly fishing awareness day to raise awareness about Trout Unlimited. They specifically sought to educate the public on the conservation efforts to protect the Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout. Below, a young angler strives to perfect her cast with one of the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter’s new LL Bean rods. 

We wish to extend a huge thank you to LL Bean for providing this opportunity to further our efforts and expand the reach of TU in our home communities. Please be on the lookout for this program to return in the beginning of 2017. Emails will be sent to all chapter presidents once the application period is open and all chapters are encouraged to participate. If you have any questions about this program, please email TU’s Volunteer Operations Coordinator, Rob Shane, at rshane@tu.org.

Gunnar Baskin is an intern for TU’s Volunteer Operations team. A rising senior at James Madison University in Virginia, he is studying economics and spends his weekends studying the mysteries of Mossy Creek and other streams in the Harrisonburg, Va., area.


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