As a way of recognizing the tens of thousands of volunteer hours given each year to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing by our talented and caring volunteers, PHWFF Regions recognize one outstanding volunteer each year. We are pleased to announce that Jim Clark has been selected as Volunteer of the Year for the Pennsylvania Region.
Jim began his association with PHWFF as one of the original instigators at Valley Forge TU to reach out to the Coatesville VAMC to sponsor and start a program. That was in 2012. The program actually kicked off in 2013. Since then he has only missed 1 weekly meeting as a volunteer supporting the program. In 2014, when West Bradford started up, he enthusiastically doubled up his volunteering and has been to all but 3 meeting since 2014.
It will be difficult to describe all that Jim does for PHWFF. He is one to sit unobserved, not wanting the limelight, subtly offering ideas, guidance and critiques. We coaxed him to be a member of the West Bradford Steering Team, and he has helped guide the program over the last 2 years. His vision is always focused on the participant
He is a tremendous mentor to the participants at both the CVAMC and West Bradford programs. His laid back demeanor belies his ability to connect and mentor participants and can be seen guiding multiple participants in tying or general banter during meetings.
Ever conscious of the small things, there is hardly a meeting that goes by that he doesn’t bring venison sticks, jerky or sausage for all to enjoy. His wit and humor helps keep both the participants and volunteers engaged with smiles on their faces. Jim teaches the practical side of tying and fishing, always simplifying things so they can be understood and learned by all.
He is an asset to our program at West Bradford. He is a true outdoorsman and his years of studying our local streams and aquatic life is above reproach. Guiding a veteran on the stream, he becomes a teacher of Nature, and sharing the art of observation of the water and the environment. He is unselfish with his vast knowledge of fly fishing and will share this with anyone who will be willing to listen. He is also very humble. He never seeks out any recognition for what he does for all of us. His answer for any praise is “It’s not about me, the veterans come first”.