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Cabela’s Outdoor Fund gift, local funding efforts help create WKU Endowment for Fly-Fishing Education


The WKU Endowment for Fly-Fishing Education has been established through local fundraising efforts and a grant from the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. The endowment creates opportunities to develop training opportunities, purchase fly-fishing equipment, engage expert fly-fishing resources, provide student financial support for fly-fishing academic courses, and fund other fly-fishing education initiatives.

Since 2015, the WKU Recreation Administration program has hosted screenings of the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4), and many fly-fishing industry members have supported the event by donating items for the event’s silent auction or making financial gifts to sponsor the screenings. Cabela’s (Bowling Green, Ky.) has provided generous financial and product support each year. Anderson Marine, located in Old Hickory, Tenn., was the 2019 local event title sponsor. The following organizations have also previously supported the event: Temple Fork Outfitters, Orvis – Louisville, Quest Fly Shop, Fly South – Nashville, Cumberland Valley Fly Fishing, NRS, Orion Coolers, Canoe Kentucky, Nat’s Outdoor Sports, Syndicate Fly Fishing, Hook1, Pavati Marine, Sawyer Paddles and Oars, and The Lexington Angler.

Sharon Richards and Eric Cutrer of Cabela’s (Bowling Green) and Dr. Raymond Poff

The Cabela’s Outdoor Fund—a non-profit organization dedicated to efforts that promote and protect hunting, shooting sports, trapping, fishing, camping and conservation—awarded WKU a grant that contributed to the creation of this endowment. Funded through donations from generous Cabela’s customers who choose to “round up” their purchases to the nearest dollar at Cabela’s stores, the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund contributes to like-minded organizations in communities across the country.

“This is very exciting for WKU,” said Dr. Raymond Poff, Professor in the School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport. “To my knowledge, very few universities have endowments in this specialty area, so this is one more thing to help set WKU apart. I believe it will facilitate future funding opportunities as donors know their contributions provide perpetual support protected in an endowment.”

Dr. Ron Ramsing, Director of the School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport (KRS), affirmed the endowment’s link to WKU priorities, “Engagement is a core value of KRS and aligns with the WKU Strategic Plan. The WKU Endowment for Fly-Fishing Education, supporting the efforts of the WKU Recreation Administration program, complements our efforts to further connect with students and the community. Through the generosity of so many people, we are positioned through the endowment to provide education and resources essential for fly-fishing.”

The WKU Recreation Administration program has offered fly-fishing educational programs since 2005. Developed by Dr. Raymond Poff, past offerings have included 3 credit-hour summer courses, community workshops, fly-fishing courses for high school students, and the popular Fly Fishing Montana program for WKU students and the community, now held each fall.

Established in 1967, the WKU Recreation Administration program provides access to a world of rewarding professional careers directing recreation services to help individuals, families and communities. The program offers concentrations in Recreation & Sport Services, Outdoor Recreation, Nonprofit Administration, Facility & Event Management, and Recreation & Tourism. Minors in Outdoor Experience Leadership, Nonprofit Administration, Tourism, and Facility & Event Management are also available. The program is housed in the School of Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport in the College of Health and Human Services.

From Western Kentucky University Philanthropy


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