Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is challenging families to put down their digital devices and discover fishing and the outdoors this summer. Bass Pro Shops is donating more than 50,000 rods and reels to nonprofit partners to kick off its “Gone Fishing” event.
Customers brought in used rods and reels this spring in exchange for discounts on new gear; each piece was refurbished and now comprise the largest donation in the event’s history, organizers said.
Over the last five years, Bass Pro has donated more than 300,000 items to youth-focused nonprofits, including Boys and Girls Club of America and Boy Scouts of America.
The nationwide movement is part of an annual effort to introduce millions of kids to fishing, with free activities at all Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s locations across North America on June 9-10 and 16-17.
“In a world where kids are increasingly surrounded by screens and digital distractions, it’s more important than ever to help them discover the joy of fishing,” said Bass Pro Shops senior conservation director Bob Ziehmer in a statement. “Today’s donations underscore our commitment to inspiring the next generation of conservationists, sportsmen and women, and we hope everyone joins us for our free Gone Fishing events in stores this summer.”