Posted Monday, September 19, 2005
Tulsa, Okla. June 7, 2005 Hooked On Fishing International announces a new program to recognize and reward exemplary young anglers each year. Selection will be based on how well applicants articulate their passion for fishing and how well they represent today's youth as role models for all America to see.
The initiative is called The Kids All-American Fishing Team Scholarship and Ambassador Program and it is open to youngsters ages 8 - 14 years.
"We realize that the kids who participate in our nearly 2,000 events like to fish, but what we want to do through this program is reward the ones who also stand out in their non-fishing contributions," said Daniel Johnson, HOFI president. "Especially contributions to their communities like helping with neighborhood food drives, running a lemonade stand to raise money for a local shelter, participating in a litter cleanup campaign, and so on."
"These kids are today's role models and tomorrow's leaders, and we want to reward them with scholarship funds and worthy recognition as a gesture of our appreciation," he said.
Johnson says six young anglers will be selected to the inaugural Kids All-American Fishing Team in 2005. Through their example, they will serve as ambassadors for one full year. With the honor comes a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond for use in current or future education, a "pro angler-style" fishing shirt, a team medal, and gifts from corporate sponsors.
In fact, it is the Kids All-American Fishing Team sponsors - Fujifilm, Kellogg's, Nabisco, Nestle Waters, Oscar Mayer and Zebco - who have been the driving force behind the development of the latest HOFI program. "Each of these leading-brand companies is known for being good corporate citizens, for giving back to their communities and being mindful of today's youth," Johnson added. "We are thrilled that they have stepped forward in this effort."
Kids All-American Fishing Team members will be selected on their ability to communicate their joy of fishing and by the example they set within their communities. Selection is not based on fishing skills or abilities. Boys and girls, ages 8 - 14, can apply, but to be eligible they must be enrolled in a public, private or home school, be legal U.S. residents, and have signed permission from parents or legal guardians.
The application process requires that applicants list all extracurricular activities, community projects and organizations they are involved in, and that they provide two letters of recommendations submitted from people other than a parent or immediate guardian. Also required is a written essay of up to 250 words on the topic: "Tell us about your best ever fishing trip. With whom did you fish and why was this trip so memorable?"
Every applicant will receive a free, colorful Kids All- American Fishing t-shirt featuring Sebastian T. Bobber, the "Official Spokesbobber for Youth Fishing."
Applications can be found online at the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing presented by Zebco Web site, www.kids-fishing.com, by clicking on the "KAAF Team Program" button at the top of the page. The forms can be downloaded and printed, or partially completed online.
Deadline for 2005 entry is August 12, 2005, to be either received or postmarked by that date. Scholarship Program Administrators (SPA), an independent review committee, is responsible for receiving and reviewing the applications, conducting casual phone interviews with semi-finalists and ultimately selecting the award recipients. The six young anglers named to the first-ever Kids All- America Fishing Team will be announced nationally in October 2005.
Additional information about the new KAAF Team Scholarship & Ambassador program is available at the nearly 2,000 Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing presented by Zebco on-water derbies held throughout the country. To locate nearby community events, families are encouraged to use the on-line Fisher Boy Derby Locator at kids- fishing.com.
The derby program of Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing presented by Zebco is also sponsored by Berkley, DMF Bait Co., Eagle Claw, Fisher Boy, FishingWorld.com, FLW Outdoors, Fujifilm, Kellogg's, Laker Fishing, Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Stanley and Nestle Waters North America (marketers of the natural spring water brands of Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Ozarka, Poland Spring, Zephyrhills and Nestle Pure Life).
HOFI, a Tulsa-Okla. company, is the country's largest producer of youth fishing events. More than eight million youngsters and their families have participated in the program over its 19-year history at events held throughout all 50 states and at U.S. military bases as far away as England, Germany, South Korea and Japan.