I hope this note finds you all very well...and, out enjoying the great resource we love.
We have several new donated items that will go into the raffle! It's pretty amazing how generous folks have been.
Our good friend, Gary, donated a three-some (does that sound inappropriate on a flyfishing forum?) for 18 holes of golf at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club. I suck at golf but I've played this course and it's a pretty darn cool place to golf...if you have to.
Scott Christensen has donated a one hour single hand casting lesson for one or two casters on a Bellingham area beach. He's a certified FFF casting instructor and knows the ropes...extremely well. I've enjoyed casting in a field with Scott and this is a really great opportunity to tune up the ol' casting skills.
Kirk Werner, author and generally super cool dude, has very kindly donated a set of his books...signed! You'll get a copy of Olive The Little Woolly Bugger, Olive and The Big Stream as well as Olive Goes For A Wild Ride. RAD! It should be known also that he sent copies to Neilan as well during this very rough time...I have no words. Thanks again Kirk!
Ed, so great to meet you and your wife at the PHW event. I may have put an "use by" date on that certificate, thinking the raffle/auction would be much earlier. So, have the eventual winner contact me as I close down my guide calendar on Oct 31st, and I'm 100% full until then. So, they can redeem next year. Ok?
This is a completely updated list of raffle items donated to date. Some extremely impressive raffle additions and an online means of purchasing raffle tickets as well as the ability to pick raffle item selections prior to the drawing if you can't attend.
If raffle tickets are purchased online, please email me at [email protected] so we can set tickets aside for you. If you will not be able to attend the drawing, an email spreadsheet list of donated items will be sent to you. Please choose the order of choice for the raffle items you would like and return as soon as possible.
Silent Auction Items
Scenic Skagit Float Trip and Lunch (4 slots) with Bill McMillan – October 19th Float Overnight Guided Flyfishing Outing on the Skagit for two with Ed and Audrey Megill BBQ for 20 people with Frank Koterba Nate Koenigsknecht with C. F. Burkheimer - Oregon Coast Guided Steelhead Trip Bob Triggs Walk and Wade Beach Outing, Sea Run Cutthroat, Olympic Peninsula
Raffle Items Derek Young of Emerging Rivers with a guided flyfishing trip on the Yakima River Guided Flyfishing, Full Day, Puget Sound beaches, Ryan Smith of The Avid Angler Sage One, 12’6” Spey, #6126, Poppy at The Red Shed Fly Shop…Wow! Scenic Skagit Eagle Float Trip, Ed and Audrey Megill Solitude Reel of your choice, Jonathan Knapp, Solitude Reels Scott Willison Flies with Box Any Echo single hand, SR switch, TR or DH spey rod and Airflo line from Rajeff Sports Islander Reel, No. 6 Spey Casting Lesson, Ben Waldschmidt at the Avid Angler, 1-3 people, 2-3 hours, Seattle area The Confluence Fly Shop $100 Gift Certificate Hardy Reel, The “St. George”, 3 ¾, Mk2, with spare spool Orvis Saltwater Reel, medium, gold with spare spool Hand-turned Wood Bowl Jack Salstrom’s Bugs with Box Spey Casting Lesson, 1 to 3 people, 3 hours, Bellingham/Skagit area, Ed Megill, The Confluence Errol McWhirk Bugs with Box Dennis Elwell assorted flies with box Fly on the Wheel Display, Tyler and Patty One Dozen Saltwater Flies, Ben Waldschmidt at The Avid Angler Case of Wine Joe’s Garden $100 Gift Certificate Mike Kinney Print, Signed, Your Choice North Fork Nooksack Whitewater Rafting Trip for Four, Morning or Afternoon Run A Case of Pacific Northwest Beers North Fork Nooksack Whitewater Rafting Trip for Six … Afternoon Run One Dozen Classic Atlantic Salmon Flies courtesy of Ben Waldschmidt at The Avid Angler “May the Rivers Never Sleep” by Bill McMillan … Signed Scott Christensen, FFF Casting Instructor, Single Hand, One Hour Lesson St Croix Imperial 9/10 Spey Rod, Reel and Line 7 Classic Atlantic Salmon flies, tied and donated by “Big Will” up in Smithers
Thank you all very much for your amazing generosity. It has truly made a huge difference! Safe Travels, Ed
I've probably written a reply to this thread close to 50 times in my head, never quite knowing how to convey my appreciation. When I talk to people about Neilan, I frequently hear that they can't imagine what it would be like. Trying to keep things light, and joke a bit, I often immediately ask them for their own sake not to imagine, because it's basically terrifying, heart breaking, gut wrenching, and otherwise best not experienced, even from afar.
What I have found, though, is that nobody is interested in that advice. I've come to see that everyone feels this. Everyone hurts when a kid has cancer. When I visit these threads, which I do frequently, I see a growing list of people, many of whom I've never met, making an effort on our behalf. I know that Neilan is in the thoughts and prayers of more people and more families than I could possibly count at this point, and Neilan knows it as well.
It's been my intention to speak to every person involved in putting this fundraiser together and thank them personally. There are a few of you that have done things recently that I have not spoken with yet. You can expect to hear from me soon. I don't really understand this, but when I talk to someone about Neilan for the first time, the really raw heartache sometimes comes rushing back. I will try to hold it together when I call!
There are also a number of you in the angling community that utilized the donation page set up by our friend Sarah Manning, or otherwise sent something our way. Jesse Fowl, Kerry Stratton, Nick Clayton, Rick Lewis, Mike Doherty, Rolf Evenson, SteelyDan, I want you to know that I saw what you did for us, and I appreciate it. There are other names I didn't immediately recognize from the boards, that I believe are Bellingham locals, possibly anglers: Lain Christenson, Ed Deboo, Norman Vigre, Tom Mereckis. There are those of you that posted anonymously, and those of you I've simply missed. There are the admins of Speypages and Washingtonflyfishing. Thank you.
To everyone buying raffle tickets: I know that you are buying them to help, but I also hope you end up with something you really enjoy. Thank you.
This experience has brought so many unwelcome and awful changes to Neilan and to our lives. The connection our family, friends and community have maintained with us is one of the few bright spots. I wouldn't say I was proud to a fault before this, but like most, it's important for me to stand on my own two feet. I wasn't braced for this, though. It's been humbling, but we are getting back on our feet, so far without a complete financial train wreck, and with an appreciation for what really matters.
There's more I'd like to say... about how Neilan is doing, how we are doing, etc..., but for now I simply want to say thanks.