$1-million raised for Canucks Autism Network at the 10th Annual Fishing for Kids Tournament

Vancouver Canuck Frank Corrado, Vancouver Canucks Co-Owner and CAN Co-Founder Paolo Aquilini, CAN CEO Katy Harandi, Tournament Winner Bob Wallis, Canucks FIN, Vancouver Canucks Alumnus Kirk McLean, The West Coast Fishing Club Co-Owner Brian Legge, Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning, Vancouver Canucks Coach Willie Desjardins, NHL players Manny Malhotra and Willie Mitchell. Photo by Jeff Vinnick

THE West Coast Fishing Club announced on Thursday that the 10th Annual Fishing for Kids Tournament raised $1 million for the Canucks Autism Network (CAN), surpassing last year’s total by $200,000.

The 46 anglers were welcomed home on Wednesday at the YVR South Terminal from The West Coast Fishing Club, located in BC’s picturesque Haida Gwaii. Tournament winner, Bob Wallis, of Vernon, caught a 34-pound Chinook during the three-day event and donated the whole of his $200,000 winnings back to CAN. Bruce Langeris, last year’s winner, presented the prized fishing trophy to Wallis. Brian Legge, co-owner of The West Coast Fishing Club, presented the $1-million cheque to the Canucks Autism Network, received by Vancouver Canucks owner and CAN co-founder, Paolo Aquilini and CAN CEO, Katy Harandi.

This year’s remarkable milestone was achieved by a group of just 46 anglers from business and community leaders across Canada. Special guests this year included Vancouver Canucks Dan Hamhuis and Frank Corrado, Vancouver Canucks Coach Willie Desjardins, Canucks General Manager Jim Benning, NHL players Willie Mitchell and Manny Malhotra, CAN Founder Paolo Aquilini, Vancouver Canucks Alumnus, Kirk McLean and former Vancouver Police Chief, Jim Chu.

VANCOUVER, BC: AUGUST 20, 2015 – The Montreal Alouettes play the BC Lions at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada August 20, 2015. Photo by Jeff Vinnick

Funds raised will benefit the Canucks Autism Network, which was founded by Paolo and Clara Aquilini in 2008. The charity supports over 2,000 families living with autism in British Columbia and welcomes hundreds of new families every year. The prevalence of autism has increased dramatically in recent years, to one in 68 children and more than 10,000 in B.C.

“We’re so grateful that the tournament allows us to support the growing number of families in need in this province,” says Paolo Aquilini. “The funds will help the inspirational children and young adults who are struggling with the daily challenges of autism.”

“We are thrilled to have made such a meaningful impact on the lives of BC children in-need in just 10 short years,” says Brian Grange, Director of the West Coast Fishing Club. “Thanks again to the Vancouver Canucks organization for their ongoing support and to the global financial specialist Macquarie, who returned as our title sponsor for a fifth year running.”

The Fishing for Kids Tournament is made possible thanks to the generous support of its sponsors. The major sponsors this year included: Macquarie, The West Coast Fishing Club, Vancouver Canucks, Ledcor Group of Companies, Helijet, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas and Delta Group. For more information on The West Coast Fishing Club’s Fishing for Kids Tournament, call toll-free on 1-888-432-6666 or visit www.fishingforkidstournament.com