ALEXANDRIA, VA (October 27, 2016) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced Bass Pro Shops is continuing its support of the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund with a $50,000 donation. This donation will help to increase awareness of, and participation in, fishing, boating and conservation activities through grassroots educational programs and on-the-water activities held in high-density Hispanic communities.
“It’s great to see continued support of this critical Fund by our industry counterparts,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “For several years now, RBFF has done its part in engaging more diverse audiences in fishing and boating, aiming to make the sports more inclusive. It’s promising to see Bass Pro Shops continue its support for the Fund and its mission to bring more Hispanic individuals and families to the water.”
RBFF’s 2016 Special Report on Fishing shows gains in Hispanic fishing and boating participation, however, this audience is still underrepresented overall. Out of 46 million total anglers, only 3.4 million, or 7 percent, are Hispanic. In contrast, Hispanics currently make up 17 percent of the U.S. population (54 million), and are projected to grow to 20 percent of the U.S. population by 2020 (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), making this a critical audience to engage for the future viability of fishing and boating.
“We are pleased to continue our support of the George H.W. Bush Vamos a Pescar Education Fund to help more Hispanic families discover the joy of fishing and boating,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris. “Bass Pro Shops is an industry leader dedicated to helping families of all backgrounds connect to nature and each other through fun outdoor recreation activities. We are proud to partner with our friend President Bush and the RBFF community in support this initiative.”
The George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund was initiated with a $125,000 donation from Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris to bring conservation education and fishing and boating experiences to Hispanic families in key metro areas. With the help of continued support from Bass Pro Shops and donations from other individuals, companies and associations, the Fund supports local programs to engage the entire family in fishing and boating, and focuses on multiple engagements rather than one-day events to foster long-term participation in the sport. Earlier this year, the first grant recipients of the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund were announced at an event held at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas and featured the former president. We are currently soliciting grant proposals for 2017 that will further the reach and mission of the Fund.
More information about the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund, including how you can contribute to ensure the ongoing success of the Fund, is available at TakeMeFishing.org/educationfund. More information about Vamos A Pescar and all of RBFF’s programs and products is available at TakeMeFishing.org/corporate.
About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites, TakeMeFishing.org, and VamosAPescar.org, feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.
About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is a leading destination retailer offering outdoor gear and apparel in an immersive setting. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today 100 retail and marine centers host 120 million people annually. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is known as a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”