For Heroes on the Water Southwest Ohio and the veterans, active-duty military, and first responders they serve, a day out on the water fishing, surrounded by family and fellow servicemembers, is an effective form of therapy.
“As a lot of people probably don’t know, water therapy is very, very relaxing and soothing,” says Andrew Stump, Chapter Coordinator for Southwest Ohio Heroes on the Water. “Being on the water fishing in a lot of aspects for veterans or military members, is tactical. Going out with your equipment trying to adapt and overcome in your kayak, trying to find the perfect space where that fish is at, using the right gear. It all joins into the aspects of what we went through in the military, or as a firefighter, or as a cop.”
Heroes on the Water’s mission is to bring servicemembers and their families together for a day of no-cost kayak fishing. Through generous donations from the community, they can provide everything needed for a day of relaxation – from the fishing poles and bait to the kayaks and life preservers, allowing attendees a stress-free day with their loved ones. “It’s nice to get out in the water, it’s peaceful, you get to kind of disconnect from you know, life in general and get out and just paddle, and clear your mind,” shares Adam Webb, Assistant Chapter Coordinator for Heroes on the Water Southwest Ohio.
Empowering Heroes and their Families through Alternative Wellness Programs
Heroes on the Water “empowers heroes to decompress and reconnect with themselves and their families while becoming part of a lifelong community.” Both Stump and Webb returned home from deployment having to deal with newfound challenges integrating back into civilian life. Heroes on the Water brought them and their families closer together through their kayak fishing events, and allowed Stump and Webb to connect with others who understood their hardships and were able to listen and provide the support they needed.
“One of the things about [the] military is [the] camaraderie, being around your brothers and sisters, knowing that your team and your unit is still there for you. And just because you’re out of that, that highlight, or out of the unit environment, we’re still here and things like Heroes on the Water, we’re here to lift you back up, and getting out on the water and being free that day from your own thoughts,” shares Webb.
Leveraging Design to Build Brand and Community Awareness
Bringing all the gear to local fishing spots, Heroes on the Water has a large trailer full of supplies. For some time, that trailer has been blank – leaving others on the road to wonder what’s in it. So, Heroes on the Water Southwest Ohio applied for Advertising Vehicle’s Nonprofit Sponsorship Program, hoping to build brand recognition and community support through a custom design for a full vinyl wrap on their trailer.
“We didn’t want to be driving down the road to an event and just people wonder what’s in that trailer,” says Stump, “You know, people’s minds can wander, we want people to look at that trailer and be like, That’s Heroes on the Water. And we want people to contact us that don’t even know that we’re around and ask us what we’re about, [and] what we do, so we can provide more for the first responder or the veteran or active duty.”
Advertising Vehicles is proud to partner with Heroes on the Water as one of the sponsored non-profits chosen for 2023. The American Dream is an important piece of the
The design team jumped into creating a patriotic design, guided by Stump and Webb to create the perfect wrap that would share the mission of Heroes on the Water with those on the road. Account Executive Ben Schrand guided the entire process, making sure everything came out perfectly in the final design. “Ben was great to work with, with all the rest of the design team. Anything we needed, he was more than happy to step up and, and come through for us.”
The Big Reveal
On reveal day, many of the Advertising Vehicles staff members came out to see the finished product. Emotion ran high as the trailer pulled out of the garage, revealing a dynamic design complete with the American flag waving behind the Heroes on the Water logo. Their slogan, “Paddle. Fish. Heal.” is displayed on both sides of the trailer – ensuring that no one on the road will have to guess what’s in the trailer again. “Everything we could have expected and more,” Webb said of the trailer at the reveal.
Because the kayak fishing events are organized by groups of volunteers, Stump and Webb are hopeful that the trailer will bring more volunteers to help grow the Southwest Ohio Chapter of Heroes on the Water and introduce more service members and first responders to the organization. “Community involvement is huge for heroes on the water because we can’t provide for the veteran or the first responder, if we don’t have the community behind us backing us,” Stump shared.
Advertising Vehicles is proud to have partnered with Heroes on the Water and is excited to have created a trailer that is a true representation of their mission and organization.
“It fills my heart, just the patriotic, the freedom of that flag and seeing our emblem on their pop off that trailer like that. It’s what we represent. This is exactly what we were looking for.”
To learn more about the Southwest Ohio Chapter of Heroes on the Water or to see how you can get involved, check out their website or visit their Facebook page.