Last October, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison and his wife Jayme announced the formation of their “Reel ‘Em In Foundation,” which incorporates Robison’s love of fishing as a vehicle to raise money for charity.
Robison, who has said what makes him tick as a person is family, faith, his foundation and fishing, has found a way to incorporate all of those into the Reel ‘Em In Foundation.
When Robison announced the formation of his foundation last October at Winter Park, he said the fundraising centerpiece would be a pair of fishing tournaments – one in his adoptive home state of Minnesota and one in his home state of Texas.
The first of those is set for April 9-10 with a fishing tournament at Lake Fork is East Texas. The tournament will raise money for the cause chosen by the Robisons for 2016 – K9s4Cops, a Texas-based organization that provides K9 dogs for law enforcement. To date, K9s4Cops has placed more than 100 dogs with 68 agencies and 12 school districts in 28 states throughout the country. Training the dogs doesn’t come cheap. The estimates are that each canine costs between $10,000-15,000 to properly train.
In an interview with the Star-Telegram newspaper of Fort Worth, Robison said he is new to the arena of fundraising and is hopeful that the program will be a success. His short-term goal is to get as many people interested in his foundation aware of it and wanting to participate.
“I knew the first one was going to be a challenge, just getting the word out,” Robison said. “I’ll find it successful if we can raise enough money for it to have been worthwhile for us. Obviously, this is something I’m passionate about. I want it to be successful. As long as K9s4Cops is happy with the turnout we get, then I’m happy.”
As with most team endeavors, Robison knows he needs the help of his teammates, so he has enlisted some of his friends to take part in the tournament, including Adrian Peterson, Sharrif Floyd, Terence Newman, former Viking Kevin Williams, Buffalo Bill and fellow University of Texas Longhorn player Aaron Williams and professional bass angler Bernard “Fat Cat” Newton.
Robison hopes to make the finishing tournaments a twice-annual event – a spring tournament in Texas and a summer tournament in Minnesota.
The Robisons have chosen to dovetail with existing charitable organizations and haven’t made a commitment to partner with any one in particular. Its inaugural year will be the testing ground, but it is something Robison hopes to make an annual event that can give back to the community for years to come.
“That would be the goal – for this to be something we can do every year to help others,” Robison said.
For information on the event, check out the foundation’s website at www.brianrobison.com.null