When Wesley Hanna went fishing in Kalamazoo, Mich., on a warm October day four years ago, he wouldn’t have predicted the results of that trip.
Hanna caught two big bass that day and took a photo of the big hogs. In 2014, Hanna entered in the photo in a World Fishing Network contest…and won $1,000 worth of merchandise.
Instead of fitting himself up with the latest gear, Hanna bought 26 rods and reels and donated them through the Portage Community Center’s Holiday Food Basket Drive.
“I don’t know what came over me,” Hanna said. “I used to watch my nephew four or five times a week; we’d go out and I’d love teaching him how to fish. He just soaked it all up.”
The Holiday Basket program was the perfect way to get the gear into the hands of Kalamazoo families in need to recreate that joy of getting kids into fishing.
“(When I won the competition) I asked myself: ‘How can I maximize this?’ It wasn’t a ton of money, but it was the perfect amount to do something great with,” Hanna said. “I just wanted to put fishing rods in kids’ hands.”
And what better prize is the feeling of giving back?