In 2016, a special event called the Bass Bash was organized as a means of bringing together “Wounded Warriors” and combat Veterans for a no cost day of guided fishing/boating on the Susquehanna River with music, food, veteran’s services, spiritual guidance, and fellowship. It very quickly became an annual event with roughly one hundred participants – fifty-six guides and boats on the water, multiple volunteers and VA support staff, and has become a highly anticipated event that has grown in reputation each year.
Just up the river and back a country lane in beautiful Dauphin County, lies a quaint old-fashioned park that serves as “home base” for the Bass Bash event. The setting is reminiscent of those parks built by the CCC following WWI and offers peaceful, wooded grounds, a grand pavilion with picnic tables and outdoor kitchen, fire pit, benches, plenty of parking, and more.
From this location, early on the morning of the event, our veteran guests are paired with volunteer boaters/guides, offered a light breakfast, (because every good fishing trip starts with coffee and donuts) and off they go to prime bass locations all along the upper Susquehanna. Equipment is provided and a license is not necessary. It should be noted that (on that day) there is also excellent trout fishing available in locally stocked Stoney Creek, a short distance from the park.
A second set of volunteers is there before sunup — directing boaters and rigs, setting up tables and tents, stoking the fire to get the coals ready for a day of outdoor cooking, arranging and organizing for the meal. These volunteers are a godsend and enable this event to run like a well-oiled machine.
The day isn’t just for the fishermen and participation in that element isn’t required to attend. Throughout the day guests can take advantage of various veteran’s services represented, share in fellowship with fellow warriors, and enjoy some excellent live music.
When the fishermen return in mid-afternoon, a wonderful meal is enjoyed by all, followed by presentations, door prizes, lots of laughter and a heartfelt “see you next year!”
Our veterans go home with great memories of a fun day designed just for them and with connective resources going forward. Our volunteers go home with a great sense of pride and satisfaction in having been a part of honoring our distinguished guests. Our program gains the fuel and momentum to look ahead and begin planning the next Bass Bash and so we grow…
As you can imagine, pulling together an event of this size is no small undertaking. Without financial gifts and a huge staff of volunteers, it cannot happen. If you would like to make a monetary donation to this special day, the link is provided HERE. Should you live locally and would enjoy volunteering, please use THIS LINK for more information. Boaters/Guides click HERE. ALL participants are required to sign a Liability Waiver. Any questions, feel free to CONTACT US and someone will be in touch as soon as possible. Know that your contribution of time and/or money will be deeply appreciated. Many thanks!
A gift opens the way
and ushers the giver into the presence of the great… Proverbs 18:16