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Maryland Welcomes Paralyzed Veterans Of America Bass Tour To Smallwood State Park
Walter Reed Hospital Wounded Veterans to Participate
Marbury, MD — The annual Paralyzed Veterans of America, Inc. (PVA) National Bass Tournament will return to Smallwood State Park this Friday, July 11 and run through Sunday, July 13.
“Words cannot adequately express the gratitude and respect we owe our soldiers and veterans who have sacrificed so much,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Maryland is truly honored and humbled to host the Paralyzed Veterans of America’s National Bass Tour again this year at Smallwood State Park.”
“Our veterans and their families deserve our support. During my tour in Iraq, I was honored to serve alongside some of the bravest and most patriotic men and women I’ve ever met,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “I am proud that Maryland has the opportunity pay tribute to the service these men and women have given.”
The tournament at Smallwood State Park is one of seven two-day tournaments held across the country that compose the Paralyzed Veterans of America National Bass Tour.
“We expect disabled veterans from more than 20 states to participate in this tournament. Wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Wounded Warrior Transition Units from local military bases will also participate,” stated Alan Earl, PVA Associate Director of Sports and Recreation. “Enabling these men and women to get back into the great outdoors, is not only therapeutic, but can be life changing.”
More than 70 disabled anglers and 50 volunteers are expected to participate in the tournament.
“PVA’s annual bass tour is an outstanding tribute to those who have served our nation in uniform,” said Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Adkins. “These men and women have sacrificed so much and this is a great way for Maryland to say thank you.”
Each tournament consists of an open/team competition for anglers who wish to fish from a boat and a bank competition for those who prefer to fish from shore. Disabled anglers in the open/team competition are paired with able-bodied boat partners for the two day event. On day one, only the disabled anglers may compete for prizes. On day two paired anglers compete as a team for cash prizes. Prizes are awarded based on the total weight of the ten heaviest fish each day, for two days.
“The PVA tour is our park staff’s favorite event every year,” exclaimed Patrick Bright, Jr., Smallwood State Park Manager. “We are greatly honored to have PVA return to our park and to provide these angler-veterans with first-rate fishing opportunities.”
The Maryland Park Service’s 49 state parks offer numerous opportunities for individuals with disabilities to enjoy the great outdoors. Utilizing an Access Maryland State Park Pass, individuals with permanent physical or mental impairment may enter all state parks free of charge. For more information about DNR’s efforts to ensure accessibility for all, visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/accessforall/.
Fred Cowell, PVA Vice-President and Chairperson of the DNR Disabilities Advisory Council will also attend the event. The Council works to ensure ADA access within DNR managed public lands, facilities, and programs.
In addition to offering affordable boating access to the Potomac River, Smallwood State Park, once the home of Maryland’s fourth Governor, General William Smallwood, also offers 628 acres for picnicking, camping, hiking, birding, and other outdoor recreation activities. Sweden Point Marina also located within the park, offers 50 boat slips on Mattawoman Creek. For more information about Smallwood State Park visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/smallwood.html.
For more information about the Paralyzed Veterans of America visit www.pva.org.
July 10, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov