GRASONVILLE — Prospect Bay Country Club hosted the third annual Texas Hold’em Poker and Blackjack Tournament on Jan. 26 to benefit Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, a Maryland-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists disabled and wounded Veterans. The event raised more than $25,000.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing began in 2005 serving wounded military service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then, PHWFF has expanded nationwide, establishing its highly successful program in Department of Defense hospitals, Warrior Transition Units, and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and clinics.

PHWFF brings a high-quality, full-spectrum fly fishing program to an ever-expanding number of disabled active military service personnel across the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

Event organizer Allan Taublib said he was inspired by Captain Kimberly Smith, USMC (Ret)., to give back. Smith is a combat veteran who was wounded in Afghanistan by an IED explosion. She credits the PHWFF for saving her life through its kindness and therapeutic method of teaching a skill such as fly fishing that brings a sense of peace.

The poker tournament and blackjack tables and week-long silent auction raised more than $25,000, which is growing with additional donations coming in that will go to the PHWFF National Capital Region programs and the annual Stars & Stripers Fishing event held here in August 2019.

Taublib said he wanted to thank everyone who made personal donations and participated in the tournaments and the silent auction and the many local businesses that provided support.

He recognized the volunteers: Mary Ellen Mason, Larry Braswell, Todd Desgrosseilliers, Sandy Patterson, Deb Terhune, Donna Trevitt and Caryn Taublib. And gave a special thanks to the men and women from Maryland Live Casino and Hotel who are all veterans who donated their time to operate the blackjack tables to support the effort and give back.

To become involved with the 2020 event, contact Taublib at 410-827-9482. Anyone wishing to donate to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing may do so by sending their contribution to: PHWFF, P.O. Box 695, LaPlata, MD 20646.

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