SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Feb 27, 2017) - Lew's announces the introduction of the Lew's Mach Product Grant (Lew's MPG) high school program that is designed to provide product support to organized high school fishing efforts throughout the United States.
Broken Arrow, Okla., high school fishing team members examine a Lew's Mach Product Grant kit. The new Lew's program, administered by the Future Fisherman Foundation, awards Mach rod and reel combos to high school clubs through an online application process based on activity criteria, including a conservation element.
The program has been developed in partnership with the Future Fisherman Foundation (F3), a well-known non-profit organization dedicated to introducing youth to fishing and the outdoors, who will administer the Lew's initiative.
Lew's Mach rods, reels and pre-mounted combos are tournament quality gear designed especially with styling, performance and affordability in mind for today's student anglers. Lew's MPG is funded in part by a portion of the profits resulting from the sale of Mach products.
"Lew's has a history of giving back to the fishing community and our commitment to support youth fishing was one of our first and highest priorities upon re-launching the Lew's brand in 2009," said Gary Remensnyder, Lew's president. "While we've had school programs in place ever since, this grant initiative is brand new and something totally different.
"Our MPG program provides Mach rods and reels at no charge in response to project-based applications as a way to nurture high school fishing club activities to the benefit of their members, schools and communities. In doing so, we also want to heighten the students' appreciation for our natural resources and grow their personal skills, confidence and character through participation in the fun of fishing."
Lew's Mach product grants can be used for a variety of purposes, including fundraisers to help get teams to tournaments, or as loaners for members, or as prizes, etc.
Any U.S. high school Lew's Mach baitcast and spinning combos and related items are included in the Lew's high school product grants. fishing club or team is eligible to apply, and product awards can be used for a variety of purposes, including fundraisers, angler loaner programs and event prizes.
Lew's MPG's must be applied for online between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, but the application window can be closed earlier than September if the product allocation for the year is met before then. Regardless of application date, club/team activities for which the products are requested can be held anytime in the year.
For applications that are approved, the recipient clubs will receive either four, eight or 12 Mach rod and reel combos, split equally between baitcast and spinning outfits, with those quantities being determined in accordance with the program's three award levels.
Criteria impacting the number of combos awarded include: club/team size, anticipated number of participants and the magnitude of the conservation element. At a minimum, all recipients must take the "Keep America Fishing" pledge, becoming part of America's united voice of recreational anglers dedicated to watching over the country's fisheries resources.
Future Fisherman Foundation, with its own programs like Boys and Girls Clubs partnerships, and the long-running "Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs" educational program, is experienced in youth efforts. F3 officials will receive and review the Lew's MPG applications, and make the award determinations.
"The Lew's high school grant program is a perfect fit to Future Fisherman's mission of ensuring the future of fishing," said Mark Gintert, F3 executive director. "We deal with high school clubs and teams on a daily basis regarding many of our own programs as well as those of others, so this responsibility falls right into our wheelhouse. We're proud to team with Lew's in this program."
F3 will receive compensation from Lew's in support of the provided services.
The specific models of the Mach combos may vary in the product award packages according to availability. Combo values range from $99.99 to $179.99, depending on models, meaning the largest product grants will be worth more than $1,000 each.
"For 2017 we're committed to awarding more than 1,000 combos, should we have the qualifying applications to reach that level," said Lew's CEO Lynn Reeves. "We expect an even bigger number in 2018, and then further growing the totals each year thereafter as we continue to expand our Mach product offerings and experience the positive results at retail.
"We have a high level of confidence for this because it's patterned after the Lew's American Hero program that benefits veterans fishing groups. Our American Hero product donations have grown every year since we started it in 2013, and we expect the same for the high school effort. Lew's is proud to support veterans and youth fishing with these two programs."
Lew's Mach baitcast and spinning combos and related items are included in the Lew's high school product grants.