Heroes on the Water Teams Up With “South Bend’s Lunkerville” To Hit the Water Once Again

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Host Mike D hits the water with war veteran Ollie Hughes from Heroes On the Water (HOW), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping military veterans relax, rehabilitate, and reintegrate through kayak fishing. Mike D and anglers will ride along as Hughes shares his passion for fishing, kayaking, and the Heroes on the Water organization.

Mike D & Ollie Hughes

"There's something peaceful, so incredibly peaceful about being on the water with no engine, no motor, no noise." -Mike D

To help celebrate Memorial Day and to recognize our nation’s military veterans, NBC Sports is re-airing a special episode of “South Bend’s Lunkerville.” The episode features host Mike D hitting the water with war veteran Ollie Hughes from Heroes On the Water (HOW), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping military veterans relax, rehabilitate, and reintegrate through kayak fishing. Anglers will ride along as Hughes shares his passion for fishing, kayaking, and the Heroes on the Water organization. HOW transformed his life when he returned home from the war in Afghanistan and faced a challenging recovery process from injuries sustained on the battlefield. The show is a great demonstration not only of the sacrifices Hughes and his fellow veterans have made in the service of their country, but also of how the simple activity of kayak fishing has been remarkably beneficial for the many combat veterans nationwide who participate in HOW programs.

“Fishing is an amazing experience for anyone,” said Scott Griffith, Vice President of Marketing for South Bend®. “It combines a beautiful outdoor experience with an exciting sporting activity, and this combination has proven to be pretty magical. And this same combination of a really positive physical and emotional experience is why kayak fishing works so well for veterans. HOW has proven this—they’ve been able to achieve a 78% decrease in overall stress levels in their veterans, as well as very significant reduction in other combat-related symptoms like avoidance behavior and hyper-vigilance. It’s truly amazing what HOW has done for our warriors and their families, and this really comes through on the “South Bend’s Lunkerville” episode as Ollie tells his story and goes fishing with Mike D.”

There will be two encore airings of the “South Bend’s Lunkerville” episode that features Ollie Hughes and HOW. The first will be on NBC Sports on Thursday, May 26 at 3:30pm EST, and the episode will air again on Memorial Day, Monday May 30, at 1:30pm EST.

“The decision by NBC Sports to air the episode just before Memorial Day, as well as on Memorial Day itself, seems particularly appropriate,” Griffith added. “A lot of people will be going fishing over Memorial Day weekend. As they enjoy that experience, we hope that they’ll have also seen the HOW episode after it re-airs on NBC Sports, and that they will reflect on all the great things HOW has done for our veterans, as well as the sacrifices that the men and women who serve in our military have made for the sake of our freedom and our country.”

Don’t miss out on joining Mike D and Ollie Hughes on an experience unlike any other!

About “South Bend’s Lunkerville”
When Indie film director Michael de Avila hooked his passion for story telling onto his love of fishing, he spawned an award-winning reality television show, “Lunkerville”. While other fishing shows rely on fast-paced competition and expert hosts, ‘Mike D’ casts his line at everyday, recreational anglers, traveling to their secret spots, sharing their special techniques and making them the expert stars of the day. Shot with a filmmaker's eye and touch, every episode is treated as a short documentary film. In 2009, the series received a CINE Golden Eagle for documentary filmmaking; one of the most coveted awards in television. In 2012, “Lunkerville” signed a multiyear agreement with its first title sponsor, the heritage fishing brand South Bend®, a leader in affordable fishing tackle that shares Mike D’s commitment to promoting fishing as fun and accessible for everyone. The series, now in its 12th year of broadcast, first aired on The Sportsman Channel, where it won three consecutive years of viewer-voted awards for Favorite Fishing Show, and Favorite Fishing Show Host. Today, “South Bend’s Lunkerville” reaches over 150+ million households, broadcast on WFN in Canada and the United States; on the NBC Sports Network throughout the United States; on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Philadelphia and California, and Time Warner Sports North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, as well as on select PBS stations. “South Bend’s Lunkerville” is a production of Rockville Pictures Inc.

About South Bend
South Bend, a Big Game International brand, has devoted more than a hundred years to creating products that let families and fishing enthusiasts experience the joy of fishing, at prices they can afford. Since 1906, South Bend has been a leader in the industry and is best known for offering quality products at an exceptional value to make fishing easy and fun for today's active families and anglers of all ages and skill levels. All South Bend products are designed to reflect the singular heritage summed up by the brand’s slogan: Quality Tackle Since 1906. Today, South Bend continues to offer a comprehensive line of fishing equipment and accessories that anglers and their families can trust and enjoy for many years. In 2012, South Bend entered into a multiyear partnership with “Lunkerville”, the award-winning television series that embodies the simple fun of fishing; a show where the featured guest is the expert -- not the host. Since then, the South Bend brand and “South Bend’s Lunkerville” have shared a mission to get more people involved in fishing by demonstrating how easy, fun and affordable fishing really is.

About Heroes on the Water
Heroes on the Water is 501(c)3 non-profit, founded in 2007 to fulfill a need to provide veterans and active-duty military and their families a way to reconnect and refuel. OUR MISSION IS to help warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. To learn more, visit our website at http://www.heroesonthewater.org.

For more information about South Bend®, please visit http://www.south-bend.com

For more information about South Bend’s Lunkerville, please visit http://www.lunkerville.com

For more information about Heroes on the Water, please visit http://www.heroesonthewater.org

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Laura Armbruster
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