Here is the press release announcing this:
Nicholson, a resident of Port Tobacco, MD, mentors disabled veterans, healing the physical and emotional wounds of battle through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. A cancer survivor and war veteran himself, Nicholson was impressed by the fortitude of disabled veterans at the Walter Reed military hospital, where he was treated for prostate cancer in 2005. It spurred him to found Project Healing Waters, a program dedicated to helping disabled active duty military members and veterans recover from the trying aftermath of war through the sport of fly-fishing.
Founded in 2005, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.
One-on-one connections have been key to Project Healing Waters' approach since the beginning. Nicholson knew there were fly-fishing groups and facilities all over the country. His innovation was to convince them to start, manage and lead fly-fishing instruction and outings with veterans through military and Veterans Administration (VA) facilities. The quiet bonds forged over fishing lines between veterans began to transform lives. Again and again Nicholson heard from family members who said their loved ones had returned from war withdrawn, angry, and difficult to be around. But after fly-fishing with Project Healing Waters, they've become happier, more open and engaged.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, works closely with Veterans Administration staff to identify disabled service members and veterans who would most benefit from the program. Many are in wheelchairs or using prosthetics. A few are blind. Participants reflect the full spectrum of disabled veterans and include all ages, genders, ethnicities and disabilities. Nicholson says the impact "goes well beyond the mechanics of fly-fishing."
Nicholson was raised in Wadsworth, OH and is a 1964 graduate of the University of North Carolina. He was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy (R) upon graduation, then transitioned to the regular Navy where he served for thirty years before retiring with the rank of Captain in 1994. Nicholson served as Indian Head Base Commander from 1989-1992. Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing is a registered 501(c)(3) non profit organization incorporated in the state of Maryland and headquartered in Charles County, MD.
The Purpose Prize winners will be honored on December 5, 2013, at an awards ceremony in Sausalito, Ca. NBC's Jane Pauley will emcee the event for hundreds of Encore leaders and the Purpose Prize winners.
Twenty-one judges - leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector - chose the seven winners from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees. Judges include Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount; David Bornstein, author and New York Times columnist; Eric Liu, writer and founder of Citizen University; and Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies, the John Templeton Foundation, and Symetra, The Purpose Prize is a program of Encore.org, which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers combining personal meaning, continued income and social impact in the second half of life.
"While Purpose Prize winners are helping to solve a wide range of pressing social problems, they have one thing in common," said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Encore.org and author of The Big Shift (PublicAffairs Books). "They - and millions of others in encore careers - are turning personal passions and decades of experience into invaluable contributions across sectors, continents and generations, often through entrepreneurship."
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Project Healing Waters, or are looking for ways that you can help them out, I encourage you to visit their website. These folks are doing noble work thorough fly fishing & I'm proud to have been involved with them since early on. It's been amazing watching them grow & see all the good people they've helped & continue to help each & every day. They are an example of all that is good in fly fishing. Please, if you can, support this upstanding organization.