Landmark War Heroes on Water Tournament Set to Expand in 2021
Event will host more than 100 Veterans, aim to raise over $1M and become one of the largest on-water therapeutic programs of its kind for combat-wounded Veterans
Jul 1, 2020
AVALON, Calif., July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, loanDepot Founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh announced the continuation of the War Heroes on Water Sportfishing Tournament (WHOW) in 2021, and outlined plans for the program's expansion.
The WHOW tournament, originally conceptualized three years ago by Hsieh – the leader of Team Bad Company, one of the winningest teams in sportfishing history -- has grown from initially hosting 27 Veterans and raising a little over $200,000 in 2018, to committing to serve 100+ Veterans and aiming to raise $1M in 2021. This planned growth will make WHOW one of the largest on-water combat-wounded Veteran therapeutic programs of its kind in the country.
"As Americans, we have a duty and a commitment to serve and heal those who have made so many sacrifices to protect and defend our great country," said Hsieh. "We have passion and a purpose, and our commitment to Veterans will never waver. Every day, we live our objective to help heal heroes and change their lives. But, what is so special about this event is that we get just as much as we give. WHOW changes our lives too. There's just nothing like it."
"Doing everything we can for our Veterans should be non-negotiable for every citizen of this country. I'm calling upon everyone to share and show their support," Hsieh added.
WHOW continues to receive year-over-year support and participation from many of the West Coast's elite sportfishing teams and yacht owners, making the assembly of tournament talent unparalleled. In addition, corporate sponsors have also heeded Hsieh's call, already pledging funds to the WHOW 2021 Tournament. So far, ServiceLink and other generous donors have pledged more than $100,000 to WHOW via the tournament's charitable partner organization, Freedom Alliance. These pledged dollars have already been earmarked in support of WHOW's founding principle: raising funds to provide therapeutic services and support for combat-wounded Veterans and their families.
In addition to the momentum already generated by WHOW 2021 event, Hsieh is also committed to creating a framework of support for Veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Now more than ever, Veterans nationwide need assistance and support," stated Hsieh. "These unprecedented times have been difficult for many, but are especially challenging for Vets, as they are currently isolated from many of their regular activities, routines and support systems."
In light of this, with an abundance of safety precautions in place, WHOW plans to hold an intimate reunion event in Newport Harbor October 1-4, 2020 for WHOW alumni, so that Veterans involved in past years' tournament can reconnect and feel the love and support of the community.
"We have to do everything we can to show our Veterans that we have their backs, and that after doing so much for us, we are going to do everything we can for them. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we believe we can bring together a core group safely, and give them a few days to heal and bond on the water, which is one of the greatest things that we can do for them right now," said Hsieh.
Freedom Alliance Program Director Josh Miles reiterated how critical this support is.
"WHOW has yielded some of the most important, impactful results out of anything that we have seen in decades," said Miles. "The fact that Anthony, the WHOW team and fleet is making a 2020 reunion tournament happen, despite the current environmental challenges, speaks volumes. And the work they will do in 2021, via the growth and expansion of this tournament, literally, has the potential to dramatically improve – and save -- the lives of our soldiers. No one else is doing anything like WHOW does, in this way, in this magnitude. There's truly nothing else like it."
The WHOW 2021 Sportfishing Tournament will be held August 12-15, 2021 off the waters of Catalina Island. To make a tax-deductible donation to this event, please visit: www.warheroesonwater.com.
About War Heroes On Water (WHOW)
War Heroes On Water (WHOW) is an annual sportfishing Tournament of unprecedented scale that supports combat-wounded veterans programs. It was conceptualized in 2018 by loanDepot Founder and CEO, Anthony Hsieh, who is also owner and leader of Team Bad Company, a world-class, record-holding competitive sportfishing fleet. Through Hsieh's deep connections with the Southern California sportfishing and business community, WHOW has grown exponentially, raising nearly $1M for Veterans since its inception.
About Freedom Alliance
Freedom Alliance is a charitable organization which provides help and support to wounded troops and military families. Freedom Alliance has awarded more than $13 million in college scholarships to the children of military heroes killed or disabled in military service and spent millions more helping injured veterans and military families with outdoor recreational therapy trips, Heroes Vacations, care packages for deployed troops, mortgage-free homes, all-terrain wheel chairs and much more. To learn more, visit www.FreedomAlliance.org or Facebook.com/FreedomAlliance.
SOURCE War Heroes on Water