Folks who live in California might remember that there was a terrible helicopter crash here in January in which three Department of Fish and Game biologists and the pilot died while on a routine aerial deer survey. At the time, a memorial fund was set up for their families.
Last week I heard the rest of the story while attending the Legislature's Outdoor Sporting Caucus annual dinner: Two of the biologists, Clu Cotter and Kevin O'Connor, had children, and apparently a number of outdoors organizations had come together to purchase lifetime hunting licenses for those kids.
Nearly five months later, though, they hadn't raised enough money to purchase lifetime fishing licenses, and I think that effort deserves a little help.
We all know that a fishing license couldn't possibly take the place of a dad, but it is a small way that Californians can let these kids know that their dads' work was appreciated, and that we all mourned their loss. Let's keep in mind that biologists are the people who make the science behind the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation work: They monitor wildlife populations to determine how much hunting and fishing is possible without damaging a species. Under this model, no game animal in America has gone extinct. This is important work.
It turns out they need another $7,500 to get lifetime fishing licenses for Cotter's and O'Connor's kids. If you'd like to help, you can do a couple things:
First, share this post with all your friends who are avid anglers and see if they'd like to be a part of this effort. Anyone who cares about getting kids into fishing can certainly relate to this cause - these kids no longer have dads to help them.
Second, write a check for whatever you can afford, made out to COHA (which stands for the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance), and write "Lifetime License Fund" in the memo line. Mail the check to:
1600 Sacramento Inn Way, Suite 232
Sacramento CA 95815
ATTN: Bill Gaines
If by some chance they collect more than enough money for the licenses, the surplus will go to those children through their memorial fund.
Yesterday was payday for me, and I'm writing my check tonight. I hope you'll join me.
© Holly A. Heyser 2010