On June 23 local fishermen on Lake Murray hosted the 6th annual Troop Appreciation Fishing Derby.

The event was held at Catfish Johnny’s & Lighthouse Marina.

Sixty Wounded Warriors, 21 fishing boats captains, 25 shoreline volunteers and five chase-boats were needed to make this event a success.

Local TV stations covered the event. 152 two fish were caught and about $16,000 in gifts and prizes were given to the soldiers.

The Troop Appreciation Fishing Derby was started in 2012 by Capt. Mike Glover, a Lake Murray fishing guide, while on a guided fishing trip with Army officers asked a simple question:

“If I could get some friends to donate a day of service taking troops fishing could you get soldiers to go?”

The answer was a resounding yes. As a result, 15 boats outfitted by local fishermen took 43 troops on the first year’s fishing trip.

The two primary event organizers are Bill Strong and Capt. Mike Glover.

The event is 100 percent free to the soldiers. All the soldiers are expected to do is show up and have a good time. The event provides breakfast, lunch, guided fishing trips and much more to ensure the soldiers have a great time.

The Fishing Derby is funded by the Troop Appreciation Foundation. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax exempt organization funded by local businesses and patriotic individuals. They do not receive or donate any monies to Wounded Warriors Project or any other organizations. All donations received go directly to hosting event for soldiers – and there are no overhead or administrative expenses.

The event’s goal is to thank Soldiers for their service in a tangible way. If you would like to get involved or make a donation visit troopappreciationfoundation.org.