My journey with Reel Life Adventures started a little over a year ago when I was attending college at Northwest Florida State. I was assigned to write a persuasive essay on a charity of my choice, so I went online and searched for hours before I came across Reel Life Adventures. Needless to say, I did not have to look any further. The two things in life that my parents taught me was to always “give back,” and, of course, fishing! After realizing that RLA was something I wanted to be apart of, I transferred to Birmingham, AL and started getting involved.
In the past, I had participated in a few community service projects and helped with fundraisers at my church, but I had never been on a mission trip, let alone out of the country. In the summer of 2010, I went on my first RLA trip to the Dominican Republic with several other guys, including Charlie Levine, senior editor of Marlin Magazine and Jose Webeje of “Spanish Fly.” During the trip, I not only made some great new friendships, but I also gained a new perspective on life and realized how the Lord was guiding me to help others. One of our projects involved re-building a house for a young mother with 6 children. Being able to put a stable roof over those children was the best feeling in the world. It’s amazing how one week helping impoverished families, playing with kids, and doing the Lord’s work can change a person! To top off the trip, I was able to catch and release my first blue marlin!
Almost a year later, I am planning my second RLA trip and serving as President of the Junior Board. Using my passion for fishing to help RLA, I’m also serving on the Tournament Booth committee where we work to raise money and recruit more people to get involved and give back to those in extreme need.by Steven Ritchie, age 23, Birmingham, AL