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Mud Hole backs Florida conservation initiative with scholarship sponsorship


One of North America’s leading rod component and tackle crafting product suppliers has announced the winners of its latest joint conservation leadership programme.

In its third year of supporting environmental leadership for Florida high school students, the CCA Florida Fred Crabill Youth Scholarship Programme presented by the Mud Hole Custom Tackle Education Programme announced the 2024 scholarship winners at an awards banquet at Mud Hole’s Oviedo Education Center.

First place was awarded to Katelyn Rosado of Fort Lauderdale, who took home a $3,000 scholarship. Blake McSweeney of Pembroke Pines earned the $2,000 second place prize, while the $1,000 third place award went to Tampa’s Mia Holmes.

“The partnership between the Mud Hole Education Programme and CCA Florida to support this scholarship and these students is extremely rewarding,” said Anthony Youmans, Mud Hole Custom Tackle Education Programme Director. “Helping to develop the future conservation leaders in our communities is a great complement to Mud Hole Education Programme’s goal of reaching kids and adding value to their education experience.”

Mud Hole’s $6,000 financial contribution is supported through the Matt McGuffee College Scholarship Initiative, honouring a former employee who passed away at age 28 in 2022. In addition, the Mud Hole team hosts the programme’s kick off and Awards Banquet and documents the week of activities for the students. This year, the students travelled coast-to-coast, from the Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Crystal River to Bajio Sunglasses in New Smyrna Beach, learning how these companies help preserve our environment as a key component of their business strategies. The students were also able to build a custom fishing rod at Mud Hole and fish for barramundi. Throughout the week of activities, students were graded on their attention, focus, creativity, presentation and overall engagement in the learning experiences.

“This year’s competitors were highly engaged and brought tremendous energy to programme,” CCA Florida Regional Director, Jimmy Michaels said. “We’re honoured to bring the opportunity to the students each year, and to work with Mud Hole on a programme that will have a long-lasting impact for these students and for our Florida ecosystems.”

For the third consecutive year, the 10 programme participants have the opportunity to earn the $5,000 Grand Scholarship by returning to their high schools to create conservation-focused programmes that positively impact their communities.

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