VANCOUVER, B.C. - The West Coast Fishing Club announced that the 12th Annual Fishing for Kids Tournament raised $800,000 for the Canucks Autism Network (CAN). For the first time in tournament history, Fishing for Kids had a female winner, as Tanya Mahe from North Vancouver reeled in a 40 lb chinook salmon on the first day of fishing. She donated the entirety of her $200,000 winnings back to CAN.
This year's fundraising total was achieved by a group of anglers from business and community leaders across Canada. Special guests this year included Vancouver Canucks players Jacob Markstrom, Sven Baertschi and Erik Gudbranson, Head Coach Travis Green, Assistant Coaches Nolan Baumgartner and Manny Malhotra, Senior Advisor to GM & Director of Collegiate Scouting Stan Smyl and alumnus Dave Babych.
Funds raised will benefit the Canucks Autism Network, which was founded by Paolo and Clara Aquilini in 2008. The charity supports over 3200 families living with autism in British Columbia and welcomes hundreds of new families every year. The prevalence of autism has increased dramatically in recent years, to one in 68 children. There are currently over 11,000 children and youth living with autism in British Columbia alone.
"We are extremely proud to continue our tradition of hosting our annual Fishing for Kids Tournament for the 12th consecutive year. We are thrilled that it has made such a meaningful impact on the lives of B.C. children and their families living with autism," says Brian Grange, Director of The West Coast Fishing Club. "Thank you to all of our sponsors for their generous support this year including the Vancouver Canucks, Wheaton Precious Metals, Delta Group, Helijet, Macquarie, Helly Hansen and Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas."
This year's Wheaton Precious Metals Champion Child was 12-year old Dylan Andre. The youngest of three boys in a sports-loving family, Dylan's minimal speech capabilities made it difficult to communicate his emotions or frustrations and hindered his participation in athletic activities. In 2010, Dylan joined CAN's soccer program and began to experience the joy and camaraderie of playing a team sport. Today, Dylan is able to participate in gym class thanks to the confidence and skills he has developed through CAN programs.
"It was an amazing experience to get to know Dylan and to be a part of this great event," says Jacob Markstrom, official Canucks CAN Ambassador. "Meeting generous participants and hearing stories from families impacted by CAN throughout the week made this an experience those of us fortunate to be on this trip won't soon forget."
About The West Coast Fishing Club:
The West Coast Fishing Club was established 29 years ago, with the premise of offering anglers the world's best salmon fishing adventures in the Pacific North West. The organization operates three lodges situated on the most northern tip of Haida Gwaii, all offering first class accommodations and service. Each one of the lodges offers a slightly different adventure, within convenient proximity to the world's best ocean fishing experience. The West Coast Fishing Club prides itself on dedication to the local community and the urgent need to maintain wilderness resources for future generations. For more information, visit westcoastfishingclub.com
About Canucks Autism Network:
The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) is a non-profit organization that provides year-round sports and recreation programs for individuals and families living with autism, while increasing awareness and providing training in communities across British Columbia.