White said funding comes from corporate sponsors, charitable foundations, government grants, and donations from the public.
"Our budget in our first year here in Huntington was about $2,000. Last year it was $4,000, and this year it's $5,000," he said. "We're always open to donations. If anyone wants to, they can call me at 304-757-4967."
In little more than a year and a half, the Huntington Project Healing Waters group has become the most active in the parent organization's Virginia-West Virginia region.
"Word has gotten out about the success we've had here," Sturm said. "Now I get phone calls from other recreational therapists asking how to build programs where they are."
The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday in Huntington's VA Hospital recreation hall.
"We have everything on hand that we need," White said. "We have fly-tying vises and materials, rod-building kits and rods to practice casting with. The VA provides us with the building, and with transportation for our outings. We plan to do a lot of fishing this year -- one to two trips a month."
Some of the trips are to local bass ponds, but others are to trout streams located in the West Virginia and Virginia mountains.
"Some of our most active participants get chosen for regional outings, where they travel to really nice trout streams and go fishing with vets from other programs," White explained.
"Everything is provided to them -- food, lodging, transportation, rod, reel, vest, waders, raincoat and flies. So far we've sent nine vets to regional events, and one to a national event in Yellowstone."
Chuck Holley, who had participated in every Project Healing Waters class and event since the Huntington program got started, received the Yellowstone trip after being named regional "participant of the year."
"It was fantastic," Holley said. "The trip of a lifetime. This whole experience has meant quite a bit to me. There's a lot of great camaraderie.
"I can't wait until the nights we meet. We talk about the things we're going to do, places we're going to fish. We don't talk about things that happened to us 10 or 20 or 40 years ago. We drink coffee, talk about fishing and focus on the future."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.