August 16, 2014 by Jeff Samsel
“I’ve often said there are a lot more good people than bad people. The bad ones just get all the publicity. We wanted to give attention to a good one,” said Forrest L. Wood, the namesake of the Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship and Community Leadership Award, as he helped honor this year’s award recipient, Rich Dalbey, on stage before the day-two weigh-in at the Forrest Wood Cup.
The annual award recognizes a Walmart FLW Tour pro who exemplifies ideals of sportsmanship and community leadership. Dalbey, who just completed his second year on Tour as a professional angler, was selected in part based on the task he took on of coordinating food drives at every FLW Tour stop.
During the 2014 season, the drives collected more than 800 pounds of food and enough cash to pay for 3,000 meals in local communities.
“Raising awareness is also important,” Dalbey adds. “I know that in my area, the food bank need has increased by 60 percent.”
One downside of moving from the co-angler side to the pro side in 2013 was the loss of time at home that Dalbey needed to maintain a high level of involvement with local food banks. Then, while he was sitting in church one morning, an idea occurred to him. The same sort of need exists all over the country. That spurred Dalbey to approach FLW about conducting food drives during the expos at FLW Tour stops.
FLW embraced the idea and provided a booth space at each expo and other important support. Dalbey organizes the drives with local food banks in each community. The food banks provide volunteer support to conduct the food drives, which take place on the Saturday of each event (Dalbey, of course, hopes to be fishing on those Saturdays). All the food and money collected goes to the local food banks.
To learn more about the effort, visit hooked-on-helping.org.
The Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship and Community Service Award was established in 2012. Previous recipients are Mark Rose and Jason Christie.