Fishing has long been considered a lifetime sport that can be shared and enjoyed by families and different generations.
Wednesday, the Annapolis chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association will hold its annual fishing trips to Chesapeake Beach and Solomons Island and allow some of those families to enjoy the sport together. The event is sold out, as it usually is, and will host 30 people, consisting of chapter members and some of their children and grandchildren.
"We want to pass it on to them and running these trips in July, you get the kids involved and you get some kids out on the water," event chairman Ron Schaefer said. "It helps them get involved in the sport at a young age, which is what you want."
The chapter holds one meeting a month, but forgoes it in July for this fishing event. There will be 20 participants on a boat at Solomons Island and 10 on a boat at Chesapeake Beach. The chapter doesn't have specific outings dedicated to getting children on the water as other chapters around the state have, but these trips provides exposure and a basic understanding of the sport.
In addition to the fishing trips this week, the chapter hosts a fishing event in April to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project called Rock on Warriors Rockfish Tournament. Chapter members donate their boats for the day so that 40 veterans and their families can enjoy a day at sea. More than a dozen local businesses sponsor the event.
"The outpouring is just overwhelming," Schaefer said. "To put on a whole thing for free for them is the least we can do."
The chapter has two other causes it helps raise money for — student scholarships and research into a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma. The organization donated $30,000 this past year to a scholarship fund for students entering college and students enrolled at a university. The money was disbursed to a dozen students.
Chapter vice president Dale Dirks said the overall mission of the organization is to provide service to the community through activities involving fishing. The Annapolis chapter is one of more than a dozen across Maryland.
"All the chapters do a great job to advance our social mission through our activities," Dirks said. "We try to support community service through fishing, and I think we've done a good job of that."
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