One of the most anticipated and talked about activities at every FOCUS session is the fishing derby that our Marines enjoy at camp. They get the opportunity to go out on the beautiful 40 acre lake at the FOCUS camp and fish for crappie, bass, bluegill, and the elusive monster of the deep. On the following evening, they enjoy the bounty of their harvest at our fish fry.

Our FOCUS fishing excursions took a giant leap forward earlier this year when Lew’s Fishing Tackle of Springfield, Missouri began donating fishing rod/reel sets, and lures for the event. However, Lew’s didn’t stop with just one set of gear for the derby. They continue to donate rod/reel sets at each session for all our FOCUS Marines to take home with them for their personal use.

Lew’s has also established an American Hero product line of rods, reels, and other equipment in honor of this generation of warriors protecting our freedom. CEO Lynn Reeves says his company’s decision to give back to veterans is probably the easiest one his management team has ever made. “We have an obligation to those who have served our country, and this is one small way that the folks at our company can say ‘thank you,'” he explained.

A portion of all sales of the American Hero line will be donated to various veteran’s programs which include fishing events as part of their curriculum. Details of the American Hero program can be found at

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