Guest post from Jeff Dillow, Hollywood Public Relations
I’ve worked with countless clients over the past 20 years and, every now and then, one stands out as having touched you personally. Working with the Jose Wejebe “Spanish Fly” Memorial Foundation and having the opportunity to attend the #FishForJose event in January was one of those experiences.
If the months leading up to the event were any indication, it was clear I’d be meeting not just some of the best in the fishing community, but a truly invested and passionate group of friends, colleagues and sponsors.
From day one working with Krissy and the Foundation, everyone from Stu Apte, Steve Huff, Carter Andrews, the Holemans, Raymarine, Costa, Tito’s Vodka, Yeti, Cuda Tools and others were more than willing to help us spread the word. In my experience, the willingness of these busy people and companies to drop what they were doing and show their support … was not just rare and refreshing, but also immensely appreciated. And, a testament to the positive impact Jose and the Foundation have had on peoples’ lives.
The #FishForJose event itself was amazing and well attended. Unlike so many gatherings, it was evident everyone there shared a singular purpose: to celebrate the life of Jose and support the ongoing work of the Foundation. And personally, even though I had never met the majority of attendees, it was as if there were no strangers.
The sponsors again were incredibly generous, making for a robust and playfully competitive auction. An amazing video presentation combined with personal accounts from friends made for more than a few tears. What struck me most throughout the evening was that it didn’t matter how you were connected to Jose; you were welcomed as part of the family with a story and smile.
Even more moving was meeting some of the people who have been touched by the life of Jose and work of the Foundation. Prior to the event, we had shared some of those stories with media and helped promote them across the Foundation’s Facebook page and website. Reading them digitally had provided just a glimpse into the passion, love and impact fishing with Jose and the Foundation had. I was honored to sit and talk with them about their lives and experiences.
I had always been a fan of Jose and Spanish Fly. Now, though, every time I grab my rod, climb in a boat or tell fish stories with friends, it has a new meaning. Sure, I still want a day of tight lines. But, now it’s as much (or even more) about enjoying the experience and the environment, and making memories.
And while I’m sure we’re already looking forward to next year’s celebration, I’d encourage us all to remember to #FishForJose every day. I’ll see you next January.