Press Release

September 16, 2015

Veterans Showcase Fly Fishing Talents in Inaugural Wildlife For Warriors Spruce Creek Classic

Inaugural fly fishing tournament created to provide aid to wounded military personnel and Pennsylvania's wildlife

Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation and Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. hosted veterans and supporters to a pair of Pennsylvania's nationally-renowned trout streams on Monday, September 14th for the inaugural Wildlife For Warriors Spruce Creek Classic. The event recognized and celebrated the contributions of military personnel to protect valuable freedoms, such as enjoying Pennsylvania's outdoor treasures.

In total, 12 Project Healing Waters veterans were among 26 participants in the tournament. These veterans received entry, lodging and meals at the tournament free-of-charge thanks to generous sponsorships and donations. A nation-wide organization, Project Healing Waters uses fly fishing as a rehabilitative and therapeutic outlet for wounded veterans and active military personnel.

Pairs of anglers fished different locations near host HomeWaters in Spruce Creek, PA on Spruce Creek and the Little Juniata River throughout the day. Each team had six 45-minute opportunities to fish different marked locations with fish scored based on size.

Award Winners (score):

1st Place Team - John Nickle and Dave Krupa (263)
2nd Place Team - Charlie Yeager and Barry Johnson (256)
3rd Place Team - Guy Murray and Eric Norman (214)

Largest Rainbow - Nicky Dayton (23")
Largest Brown - Charlie Yeager (24")

Retired United States Navy SEAL Ryan McCombie addressed attendees at Monday's post-tournament dinner and awards ceremony. Today, McCombie is an independent business consultant and serves on the Board of Advisors of several national firms and Penn State's Board of Trustees.

"Without the brave sacrifices of our military personnel, we would not be able to enjoy many freedoms, including the ability to hunt and fish," said Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation Executive Director Vern Ross. "We take great pride in our military as well as Pennsylvania's outdoors heritage. The event recognizes both and was a great opportunity for two outstanding organizations to work together."

Sponsors and veterans also participated in fly fishing on Sunday, September 13th, at HomeWaters. An exclusive dinner for sponsors and veterans Sunday night featured a stream entomology presentation from Dr. Hannah Stout with State College-based WHM Group. Overnight lodging was provided in sponsorship packages.

"On behalf of both organizations, we want to thank all of our participants and sponsors," Ross added. "We are greatly appreciative of support for both organizations."

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings. Since launching in 2005 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Project Healing Waters has grown into a nationwide organization aiding wounded veterans returning home. More information is available at

Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation was established to provide permanent private support for wildlife habitat enhancement, wildlife research and education, land preservation and for the establishment of a Wildlife Education and Research Center. The Foundation celebrates the rich heritage of Pennsylvania wildlife, habitat, sportsmen and sportswomen. To date, Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation has raised and provided over two million dollars on habitat improvements and educational programs throughout Pennsylvania.

Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Foundation. More information about the foundation's projects can be found at


Vern Ross
Executive Director
Peg Hosterman
Administrative Assistant
Brian Tripp
Public Relations Assistant

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