DANIA BEACH, FL – The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) announced today that it has sent an initial $55,000 distribution to the Louisiana Charter Boat Association (LCBA) from the IGFA’s Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
The LCBA established an application process for relief funding in late September that will remain open until November 1, 2021. This initial round of funding from the WARF will be distributed to all applicants that have had their applications vetted and approved by the LCBA.
“We are happy to finally get the funds in the hands of those captains, guides, outfitters and lodges that are hurting,” said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser. “After working closely with the LCBA on their application process and distribution plan, we are confident that this group will get the funds to those individuals that need it the most. We are very grateful for the support from our partners at Costa, AFTCO, the Jose Wejebe Memorial Foundation, and all other groups and individuals that stepped up after Hurricane Ida.”
The IGFA and its partners at Costa Sunglasses created the WARF in September 2017 to provide financial support to charter captains, guides, and crewmembers of the recreational angling community in the wake of major natural disasters. With this contribution to the LCBA, the WARF has disbursed a total of $195,000 to recreational angling associations in the Florida Keys, Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida Panhandle, The Bahamas, and Louisiana to help local captains and guides recover from natural disasters.
“We are once again proud to work alongside the IGFA and others to provide this much-needed support to those impacted by Hurricane Ida,” said Costa Conservation & Community Partnerships Manager Joe Gugino. “The WARF was established to help those within our angling family get back on the water, and we are excited to be doing just that with this initial distribution. We understand that this process to rebuild is ongoing, and we will continue to look for ways through the WARF to help these effected communities over the coming months.”
Following the storm, there was an outpouring of support to the WARF from its founding partners at Costa Sunglasses, industry leader and corporate partner AFTCO, the Jose Wejebe Memorial Foundation, and numerous private donors. The IGFA thanks all of those who made a contribution to this important cause and we are committed to see the fund reach those who are truly in need of support at this time.
“With the devastation of Hurricane Ida impacting the coastal communities of Louisiana, AFTCO x Marsh Wear took a quick initiative to support these communities by generating funds through our Louisiana Guide Relief Day effort,” said AFTCO Marketing Director Matt Florentino. “We’re extremely proud that our community driven initiative raised a significant sum of money for the WARF to provide support for the Louisiana fishing community.”
“The Jose Webeje Memorial Foundation was created in honor of legendary angler Jose Wejebe,” said Executive Director of the Jose Wejebe Memorial Foundation Krissy Wejebe. “Jose was a man that always helped those in need. After a devastating storm like Hurricane Ida there is no doubt Jose would have been done whatever he could to help those in need, and that is why we are proud to support the WARF efforts in Louisiana.”
The LCBA was founded in 1994 and is the non-profit trade association tasked with protecting and promoting the Louisiana charter-for-hire industry. In addition to LCBA’s state and federal political advocacy and marketing and promotion efforts, LCBA also encourages high standards of conservationism and professionalism among Louisiana’s charter fleet. The hundreds of licensed and insured Louisiana charter captains that make up LCBA’s membership have provided LCBA the opportunity to successfully become a unified and respected voice representing the best interests of Louisiana charter captains.
“LCBA, its board and its members are incredibly thankful and grateful that IGFA, Costa Sunglasses, AFTCO, the Jose Wejebe Memorial Foundation and others have utilized the philanthropic arm of WARF to assist Louisiana charter captains in our time of need,” said LCBA Executive Director Richard Fischer. “Hurricane Ida may be the strongest and most destructive hurricane to ever hit coastal Louisiana, but thanks in large part to our generous friends, the Louisiana charter fleet will soon return to providing once-in-a-lifetime fishing experiences to members of the public.”
Founded in 1939, The International Game Fish Association is a nonprofit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rule making, record keeping and recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the field of angling. The IGFA maintains world records in freshwater, saltwater, fly-fishing and junior angler categories. The IGFA has members in more than 100 countries.