President’s Message for March

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts!”

~Winston Churchill

Ok I know it is not March just yet, however after our last meeting with Tommy Lawhorne I truly understand now the difficulties that lay ahead of our chapter, its goal to see the Roanoke River become a Catch and Release stream. It is going to be to a long and hard fought battle, I almost see it as being a harder battle to win than getting the chapter to become more diverse or getting people to stop poaching in the delayed harvest sections. Honestly if I didn’t think there was even a chance of us winning this battle I would advise the chapter against moving forward. However I am very optimistic, I think we will win this battle, I think the Roanoke Valley will become the center of tourism for the state of Virginia. Tommy said, “Dream Big,” and that is exactly what I and our chapter are going to do.

With this being said, my time with the chapter might be growing shorter with every second, of each day. I am ok with that, and you, the chapter, should be as well. I refuse to leave the chapter in the hands of a person that I do not think can perform the job, and keep the goals I have set in place. I want our chapter to be the best chapter in the State of Virginia. Hell, I want our chapter the best in the South East. Will this take a lot of work? Yes! But with due diligence I think that our chapter can do anything that we as a group set our minds to do.

Our two biggest hurdles will be funding and establishing our chapter with local County/City officials. Fortunately several of our members are employed by the City of Roanoke, and several of you know many business owners that might help out. Our Board of Directors have an excellent plan, however their plan will need our help to get off the ground in order for the chapter to start laying down the bricks of a foundation that will ultimately lead us to achieving our goal.

At our next meeting we will form a fundraising committee, this committee will oversee all aspects of getting the funding that our chapter needs to raise in order for our goals to be met on the Catch and Release Project and the Poaching/Trail Camera Project. Honestly we are going to have to think outside of the box on how we raise funds, while raffles and donations help, they are not going to bring in the amount of money that we will need to get all of these things accomplished. So if you have an idea, bring it to the committee’s attention. We need to do everything possible to achieve these goals.

Will we see a lot of battles lost, will it get a little rough? Yes, yes it will. But you cannot achieve anything by doing nothing, wishing a thing into being never happens.  We must “Dream Big” and never stop advancing our goals, this is why we joined Trout Unlimited. To Conserve, To Protect, To Restore, and To Sustain our cold water fisheries.

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