Bass Pro Shops contributed to the community effort with a generous donation to be used by ‘A Reel Future’ and Camp Christina Y.

Bass Pro Shops is a popular destination for families and lovers of the outdoors. Located at 10501 Palm River Rd. in Brandon, the company continued to show its commitment to the community on June 7 as it launched its annual Gone Fishing Event on National Donation Day.

As a nationwide effort, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s will donate 50,000 rods and reels this summer to different nonprofit organizations, inspiring young people to go outside. This year, Bass Pro Shops in Brandon donated 528 complete rods and reels to Camp Christina Y and ‘A Reel Future’, an organization that works with foster children to take them fishing and teach them about catching fish, the outdoors and conservation.

Store General Manager Ronnie Cheeks spoke enthusiastically about the event’s focus.

“The Gone Fishing event and the National Donation Day is so important to the mission of our company—to do all that we can to help families and our youth get outside and learn to love, enjoy and conserve the great outdoors,” he said.

Misty Wells, Founder of ‘A Reel Future’, believes the donation will be helpful to her cause.

“Bass Pro and I are trying to inspire the next generation to engage and love the outdoors. We want the children to exchange rods for remotes. The two most important things that the children will get from fishing is self-confidence and a love for the outdoors,” said Wells.

Camp Christina Y’s Program Director Meagan Springer and Specialty Camp Coordinator Kyle Francavilla were both excited about putting the donation to good use in their camps. Cliff Vandenbosch, who helps with events coordination at Bass Pro Shops, was also present at the ceremony.

“We want these kids to have fun learning how to fish, and to gain the confidence of learning a new and valuable skill. We hope the donation of fishing equipment makes it very possible for these kids to get outside and start making memories that will turn into a lifelong love of fishing,” said Cheryl Kehrmeyer, who oversees Events and Promotions at Bass Pro Shops.

The Gone Fishing event also included free, family-friendly activities in June, including an outside catch-and release pond, free fishing seminars, and more for kids and parents to enjoy.

“We hold events almost every weekend that have free seminars on enjoying the outdoors, and many have kids’ activities as important parts of them, too. We want to make sure everyone has access to the information to help them enjoy the beautiful world outside of our offices and our homes,” Kehrmeyer said.