On August 5th, 2011, a brigade of American patriots lead a group of 18 wounded warriors and 18 challenged sportsmen to the volunteer fire department in Matagorda, Tx., for the annual Serve Outdoors Bay Fishing Event & Banquet. Itís a date that we look forward to all year long. Neither the sweltering heat nor the brutally dry summer could squelch the enthusiasm of all who attended. We had over 200 people attend.

This yearís banquet was made extra special by the presence of Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial that was created to honor every Texas veteran that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy. Itís a permanent reminder of how important it is to appreciate how good we have it in this country and how much it costs to protect it. Please visit their site at (http://www.texasfallenheroeswall.com).

All of our disabled fishermen, volunteer guides, friends, family & club supporters enjoyed a fried fish dinner as the chatter in the hall grew into a steady roar. Drew McGinnes, our club president, greeted every member and set them up with a guide for the following morning. People flowed in and out, some making new friends and others reconnecting with old ones as the auction started up in the background. We also had a terrific silent auction of donated items. One couple from the nearby town of Blessing even made and handed out mini-quilts for every one of our fishermen. By the end of the night, we had a record number of participants and a record amount of funds raised.

Before daylight on Saturday, the designated meeting place shifted to the marina at Matagorda harbor. A myriad of boats, guides, helpers & challenged sportsmen hustled about in order to get out on the water before the scorching sun came up. We had about 4 hours to fish before the 100 degree heat would force everybody back to shore. A cool breeze was coming off the bays as everyone shoved off.

For some of these guys, just getting out on the water again is the best therapy they can receive. Thereís something good about finding out that you can still do some of the things you once loved to do, and that there are a lot of people willing to help you do it. Everyone got as much fishing as they could stand, and some even brought some keepers back to the dock before having lunch and going back out for an evening trip. A great time was had by all.
Next up for Serve outdoors is a Duck/Dove Hunt on the last weekend of September in Garwood, Tx. In spite of the drought, we are going to host approximately 10 new disabled hunters, 2 from out-of-state and our first ever blind hunter. Stay tuned for stories and pics. Thanks for your support.