Meet the Holiski family:
They drive all the way from Colorado and Texas every year to spend a week with us. For those of you trying to calculate the amount of hours they drive, it is about one day more than I could ever stomach. They certainly earn their trip.
Their “Fish On” family trip started in 2005. Stan and Jan Holiski (on the far right) have made sure that their grandkids, nieces and nephews, and extended family of all varieties have the chance to get outdoors. Whether it be fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, storytelling (and believe me – they’ve got that covered!) they do it all. They first came up to Eagle Falls Lodge in 2010 and have continued their “Fish On” tradition with us ever since.
Travis and I have had the honor of getting to know this family and watch these kids grow up. We LOVE this family and have snuck our way in as honorary members. They take over camp and it is like a big reunion party all week long. Full of equal parts fishing, eating, laughing, with an extra dose of shenanigans.
Throughout the week, all the kids ask what they can do to help. They pick up trash at their shore lunch site. They help wipe tables. They offer to mow the lawn. They wipe out their boats. They help others get on and off the dock. There is no question as to where their respect for others and for the earth comes from. Stan and Jan have led this family by example and it shows. This family has more fun than just about anyone, but they know that fun comes after safety, respect, and to-do-lists. It is inspiring. Stan and Jan hand out awards and recognition at the end of the week for biggest fish, etc., and this year they had a special presentation.
This family wants to make sure that more kids get a chance to be a part of everything that a week of fishing in Canada means. They are committing to sponsoring a trip for one child. Each year. For good.
THAT is paying it forward. They say they were inspired by our involvement with Make-A-Wish and hope that this allows us to get more kids that may not otherwise get a chance to come to Canada up to Eagle Falls Lodge. But, this is just who they are. We are just lucky enough to witness the awesome example of generosity they are passing on.
And they gave us a GIANT CHECK! You guys, I LOVE giant checks. I asked Travis if I could take it into the bank today, but he said it probably wouldn’t fit in my backpack.
See you for “Fish On 2016” guys!