Bass Pro Shops donates to help kids get hooked on fishing

MIAMI – Bass Pro Shops, a leading outdoor retailer, is donating a new Regency pontoon boat to the South Florida-based nonprofit Mahogany Youth Corporation, significantly advancing the organization’s ability to introduce thousands of area at-risk children to the outdoors through innovative fishing programs. With a retail value of more than $50,000, the Bass Pro Shops-donated Regency 254 DL3 is the largest donation Mahogany Youth Corporation has received in its 22-year history.

“This generous gift is a game changer for the children we serve and we are grateful to Bass Pro Shops for making it possible,” said Kathleen Elliott, vice president of operations for Mahogany Youth Corporation. “The new pontoon greatly enhances our ability to open a child’s eyes to the joys of fishing and snorkeling. In the past, we had our kids fishing from a bridge – now we can get them out on the water every weekend for a much more impactful and exciting outdoor experience that will inspire a lifelong passion for the outdoors.”

Mahogany Youth Corporation’s mission is to empower kids to expand their possibilities through fishing. The nonprofit assists youth in developing their skills and enhancing their self-esteem through fishing programs, focusing on at-risk children in the Miami area. Last year, more than 1,700 area middle school and high school students participated in the “Teach a Child to Fish” program, receiving training in conservation, life skills, drug prevention, school success, marine habitat, fish identification and outdoor physical activity.

Bass Pro Shops is strongly committed to introducing new audiences to the outdoors, partnering with dozens of conservation and youth organizations to help foster a love of nature for hundreds of thousands of children each year.

“If you can introduce a child to the outdoors, you can foster happy memories and a lifelong appreciation for nature,” said Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder/CEO of Bass Pro Shops. “Bass Pro Shops is proud to help this innovative nonprofit organization introduce fishing to kids who might otherwise never have the chance to feel the tug on a line or the rolling waves of the ocean.”

Mahogany Youth Corporation incentivizes the children it serves with fishing trips and tournaments for improved grades and good behavior. Word spreads quickly amongst the participants as they discuss the adventures with their friends.

“We encourage the youth to bring a parent or a grandparent to learn so there is a ripple effect beyond just the kids enrolled,” said Elliott. “Then even more youth will become involved in the program and it will expand. One of the most important outcomes is getting kids away from video games and the TV, and they don’t even miss it.”

For more information about Mahogany Youth Corporation, please visit their website.