(Jan 14, 2015) Forestville, Wisc. — With growing support from the sportfishing community, the Future Angler Foundation (FAF) blew past the $10,000 fundraising goal for January and hit a whopping $30,337. The double-down came from a matching funds and opening gift by the J.J. Keller Foundation totaling $15,000. Along with these generous gifts, the angler-members attending the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) conference contributed their own $15,337 through the live and silent auctions. The fairly-new 501c3 non-profit starts the year ready to pass on the experience of fishing to new participants.

“Our foundation contributes to over 300 non-profits, and I think this one is good. I like it,” said James Keller of J.J. Keller Foundation. Keller strategized with FAF’s president Pat Neu to kick off the evening with an announcement. The two unveiled the well-kept secret of an initial $10,000 gift plus a pledge to match the first $5,000 raised. “We thought it would be a booster shot and it worked,” said Keller.

Skeeter and Yamaha hosted the evening’s meal, allowing all the funds raised to proceed directly to programming efforts. With Keller’s gift, that put everyone in attendance in the right framework for check writing. “This is one of the most valuable things we do all year,” said David Ittner, Tournament and Pro Staff Manager of Yamaha. “It gives us great pleasure to be partners in this effort.”

Brian Bashore of The Walleye Guys in Nebraska assisted with the role of auctioneer. “It was a great honor to be part of this epic event as we were able to raise well above our expected goal,” said Bashore. “The generosity of fellow NPAA members and our guests showed through incredible auction items like a day on the water with Al Lindner and other unique fishing trips and gear. Every dollar earned goes into the FAF and gets another first-time angler hooked on fishing and contributes to our great sport for years to come.”

“We are thankful to all of the outdoor folks who have chosen to invest in the work of FAF,” said Kristine (K.J.) Houtman, board member and executive director. “Pat Neu has provided great leadership and the synergy with the NPAA and its members has been beneficial for both organizations. I’m proud of what everyone accomplished.”

The FAF board consists of Neu and Houtman as well as Al Lindner, Jeff Marble, Dr. Philip Moy, Robert Blosser and Greg Karch. The group is entrenched in the sportfishing industry and anxious to broaden the participation base of anglers through education and outreach. With a strong connection to dedicated hardcore anglers, the FAF puts boots on the ground with a hands-on, grass roots approach. The mission is to:

  • Educate volunteers on how to host educational “how to” fishing events
  • Providing learning materials and fishing equipment to support FAF sanctioned events
  • Pair volunteers with venues like National and State Parks and Forests and Federal/State Wildlife areas
  • Develop programs with school systems and community park and recreation programs to bring angling into curriculum
  • Build sportfishing industry support for the hands-on, grassroots efforts of our members

The Future Angler Foundation is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff. Corporate contributions, personal donations and grants help solidify new anglers, securing the sportfishing participant base for years to come. Compared to other nonprofits, the FAF is focused on introducing new anglers to a fishing experience and educating them on the skills they need to catch fish and how to take care of the fishery—work important to the sportfishing industry’s future.Check out or email Pat Neu, president or Kristine Houtman, executive director at Future Angler Foundation (FAF) is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in November of 2013.