WHAT IS FISH4AMERICA?
FISH4AMERICA is a volunteer organization of recreational anglers, who have joined together to donate the fish they have caught to feed the rescue workers and displaced victims of the horrible attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th.
IT STARTED WITH A THOUGHT
On September 13th Chuck Robinson, an avid Southern California recreational angler, was suffering from the same despondent helplessness that overcame most Americans after the attack. While listening to his car radio, he heard a report that the Hard Rock Café in Manhattan was feeding the rescue workers and surviving victims of the attack, but had run out of food. The thought occurred to him that many hundreds of pounds of prime sport caught fish were sitting in the collective freezers of his fishing buddies. What if there was some way to rally his fellow anglers, and get this valuable food to New York? His first call was to good friend, and fellow angler, Earl Durham. Earl's enthusiasm helped fortify Chuck's resolve to take his campaign to the next level.
TAKING IT TO THE 'NET
Chuck and Earl posted their pleas for help on the message board at InternetFishing.com. This message board is frequented by many hundreds of recreational anglers and businesses serving the angling community, many of whom have used their online community to form lasting friendships and arrange to get together for fishing trips. The response was overwhelming. Within hours, anglers and businesses all over Southern California volunteered to aid the cause, by donating fish and services for storage, packaging and transport. Even out of state members of the message board offered assistance and cash donations.
Within only 48 hours, 2500 lbs. of recreationally caught albacore, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, wahoo, shark and mahi-mahi were sitting in freezer storage at New Fishall Bait company in Gardena, CA and 1000 lbs. were packaged for shipment. Golden State Container Co. donated the packaging supplies and members of the InternetFishing.com message board supplied the fish and labor to make this happen. On September 17th, the first 1000 lbs. were shipped, courtesy of the employees of the Irvine, CA FedEx station. The next day, another InternetFishing.com member, Triet Le, met the fish, hailed a NY cab and hand delivered the fish to The Hard Rock Café. They started feeding the rescue workers with it the same day. Just one week after the tragedy, our fish was being used to feed the people working in "The Pit". FISH4AMERICA was born.
4000 POUNDS MORE
It wasn't long before FISH4AMERICA had two more tons of fish and was in need of funds to pay for the shipping. In answer to that need, a fundraising benefit dinner was held on Sunday October 14 th, at the Hard Rock Cafe, Newport Beach, CA. It was a complete success! Thanks to the generous donations of many sportfishing industry folks, there were numerous and valuable items available for bid on silent auction. America's favorite fishing band, THE DORADOS, performed live. FISH TALK RADIO broadcasted live from the event. More than 150 attendees opened their hearts and their wallets, shared a fine meal, and danced until closing. When it was all over, more than $13,000 had been raised!! Proceeds from the Benefit Dinner will go to pay future shipping costs to move fish back to NY. Any money left over when this is done will be donated directly to the NY City Firefighter's Assoc. Widow and Orphans Fund.
FISH4AMERICA thanks all the folks who helped make this event possible, as well as all the generous sponsors who donated items for the silent auction.