SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (July 10, 2014) - The Lew's® American Hero® fishing program was established with "giving back" in mind to support U.S. armed services veterans who served while other Americans fished freely. A portion of the profits from American Hero product sales are dedicated to supporting veterans groups with fishing programs.
The FOCUS Marines Foundation's quarterly class for wounded warrior veterans includes a fishing segment among the program's agenda.
Celebrating its one-year anniversary at next week's annual ICAST fishing industry tradeshow, the young American Hero program is already bringing smiles and rekindling family bonds among veterans transitioning back into civilian life.
During a recent FOCUS Marines Foundation fishing outing near St. Louis, Lew's President Gary Remensnyder and Vice President Richard LaBauve presented the summer class of 31 wounded warriors with newly available American Hero spinning rod and reel combos.
"It was an emotional exchange to say the least," LaBauve said. "They were thanking us for the fishing gear, when in reality this was all about our wanting to thank them. It was definitely a humbling experience and I'll never forget it."
Each class attendee received one of the Lew's American Hero spinning combos featuring a 5-ball bearing Speed Spin reel with a graphite body and rotor, double anodized aluminum spool and Zero-Reverse anti-reverse.
The reels are matched to premium two-piece IM6 American Hero rods fitted with steel guides and inserts, lightweight graphite skeletal reel seats, cushioned stainless steel hoods, EVA split-grip handles and a patented "No Foul" hook keeper.
The American Hero spinning combo is available in three models: a 6' rod with a size 200 Speed Spin reel, a 6'6" model with a size 300 reel, and a 7' rod with a size 400 reel. All are two-piece models with medium actions for all-purpose fishing. The longest rod combo retails for around $69.99, while the other two sell for about $59.99 each.
Lew's executives Gary Remensnyder (left) and Richard LaBauve presented each FOCUS Marines Foundation class student with a newly introduced American Hero spinning rod and reel combo.
"I'm walking proof of what being able to leave here with a rod and reel in your hand can do for your life," explained Mike Street, a FOCUS Marines class graduate and mentor. "I was a mess when I entered this class last September, but the fishing outing allowed me to rediscover the passion I once had for fishing. I left here with my Lew's rod and reel, took my daughter fishing when I got home, and now we're both having a blast spending time together on the water. We love it!"
Also new are Lew's American Hero baitcast rod and reel combos, available in 6'6", 6'10" and 7' models. All three versions come with a Lew's 5-premium double-shielded stainless ball bearing Speed Spool baitcast reel with an externally adjustable Magnetic Control System (MCS) cast control. They retail for around $89.99 each, which is a great value given their top features.
The reels have a one-piece lightweight graphite composite frame and sideplates. Spools are machine-forged aluminum and anodized blue. Their main gear and crankshaft are high-strength solid brass. They have a palming sideplate that can be quickly released and removed for easy spool access. A durable Rulon drag system provides up to 10 pounds of drag power.
The baitcast combo rods are premium one-piece IM6 graphite blanks equipped with stainless steel guides and inserts. The reel seat is skeletal and has a cushioned hood. Their EVA split-grip handles are lightweight and slip-resistant. Lew's patented "No Foul" hook keeper never interferes with casts and retrieves.
Both the spinning and the baitcast combos prominently feature the American Hero logo and related stylish graphics. With the latest introductions, American Hero rods, reels and rod/reel combos are part of the Lew's product line developed to support select veterans groups with fishing programs, such as FOCUS Marines Foundation and the Reel American Heroes Foundation.
A portion of the profits from Lew's American Hero products sales are committed to helping support veterans organizations with fishing programs. Several new products join the American Hero lineup, including new Speed Spin combos.
"CEO Lynn Reeves and I agreed early on in our partnership that we would do a veterans program like this because a verbal 'thank you' to our troops just isn't enough," Remensnyder said. "Our sentiment grew quickly throughout our employees and sales rep groups, with all stepping forward and saying, 'let's do more.' Our newest introductions are the result and we are sincere in our commitment to give back. It's the right thing to do."
To view the Lew's American Hero Pledge and learn more about the American Hero program visit http://www.lews.com/AmericanHero