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Bass Pro Shops donated 40,000 rods in effort to get more kids outside

Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops donated 40,000 rods and reels in nationwide effort to get more kids outside.

Gone Fishing movement aims to introduce fishing to families everywhere with free activities, donations and partnerships

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is challenging families everywhere to get off the couch and head outdoors to discover the fun of fishing this summer. Bass Pro Shops donated 40,000 rods and reels to nonprofit organizations that help kids from all backgrounds connect to the outdoors. The effort is part of Gone Fishing, a nationwide movement that aims to introduce the sport to families everywhere through donations, nonprofit partnerships and free catch-and-release ponds at Bass Pro Shops locations across North America on June 10-11 and 17-18.

Photo: A. Derr

Morris was inspired to create the initiative after reflecting on childhood memories of fishing with his family. These experiences helped shape his lifelong passion for the outdoors and wildlife conservation.

“The most special memories in life come from spending time in nature with those you care about. For me, it all started with fishing,” said Johnny Morris, who spent his boyhood summers fishing with his family on the beautiful rivers in Missouri’s Ozark mountains. “We want to help as many kids as we can discover the joy of fishing – on the ocean, in a lake or on a stream – so we’re donating thousands of fishing poles, inviting families to catch their first fish at Bass Pro Shops and encouraging everyone to take someone they love fishing this summer.”

National Donation Day

During a national donation day on Thursday, June 8, Bass Pro Shops donated 40,000 rods and reels to nonprofit organizations that connect kids to the outdoors and help get more kids outside. Customers brought in their gently used rods and reels this spring in exchange for discounts on new gear. Bass Pro Shops refurbished each piece to ensure it was fish-ready for kids. In the last five years, Bass Pro Shops has donated more than 250,000 items to youth-focused nonprofit organizations including Boys and Girls Club and Boy Scouts of America.

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