Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing
11000 S. Perdue Rd.
Grain Valley MO 64029
Mission Statement
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Bob Barnett
Board Chair Mr. Robert Fitch
Board Chair Company Affiliation
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2005
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
We seek support for our local Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Greater Kansas City program. We are growing very rapidly and our needs are many. Our goal for 2018 is to raise $10,000 to fund the needs for the year. Monetary donations can be in the form of a check payable to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.
Our local PHWFF offers the mentally and physically disabled veterans a program at no cost to the participant; so we also seek fly fishing rods, reels, fly tying vises, tools and materials that may be stored away unused.
We serve the disabled veterans but you do not need to be a vet to volunteer. You also do not need to have a knowledge of fly fishing or fly tying; you can learn along with the participants. A volunteer only needs to be compassionate, understanding, patient, genuine and willing to be a friend to someone who gave up much to serve our nation. 
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.
Background Statement
Ed Nicholson was reared in Northern Ohio in the small town of Wadsworth, where as a youth he developed a love of the outdoors. After graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1964, and receiving a commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy (R), he was off to sea on what he thought, at the time, was two years of obligated service. It didn’t take long for him to decide that life in the Navy was his calling, and he transitioned to the regular Navy, embarking on a career that would span thirty years.
Ed’s own stay in Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in 2005, presented him with a close look at the wounded returning from the conflict in Iraq (and later Afghanistan) and was the genesis for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF). A desire to offer fly fishing to recovering injured and wounded service members wanting to join him on outings soon (with the help of a great many others) blossomed into a project that now encompasses not only the recovering warriors of Walter Reed, but other disabled veterans in-need. Ed officially retired in March of 2017 but remains passionately involved in PHWFF and committed to helping our disabled veterans and service members enjoy a better life, through participation in fly fishing education and outings and, more importantly, in building lasting mentoring relationships that will follow them as they transition to civilian life.
Impact Statement
  • Our program has effectively served past and present members of our armed forces who have made great sacrifices in the service of our nation.
  • We have been able to reach many disabled veterans across all generations, conflicts and service branches to offer rehabilitation and restoration through our program.
  • For the past five years our local PHWFF has successfully maintained our program in two Veterans Hospitals working not only with the general population but with the alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility at the VA Hospital.
  • For the coming year we plan to continue our service at the local VA facilities with our outreach programs to serve even more disabled servicemen and women. We have been in conversations and have offered our program to the Veterans Community Project and hope to start classes and relationship building when the permanent community center is in place.
  • In 2017 we were able to offer two multiple day group fly fishing outings and ten single day trips. These outings probably averaged fifteen to eighteen participants per trip not including volunteers. In addition to these sanctioned outings individuals meet weekly to talk, fish and build lasting friendships over a fly rod and fly.  In 2018 our program wants to offer our participants more exciting, beautiful and therapeutic fishing outings and experiences.
  • On a national level competition for "Fly Tying" and "Rod Building" is offered to all local programs nationwide. In the past two years the PHWFF Kansas City program has taken a first place and honorable mention in fly tying and a first and third place in rod building. As a result some of our participants have been rewarded with all expense paid fly fishing trips to Alaska, Virginia, Montana, Utah, Idaho and Patagonia, South America.
  • Also included in our goals for 2018 is to upgrade and add to the fly tying equipment and materials.  The equipment we have and use serves many hundreds of veterans a year in our outreach programs, we need to replace many units and add to our inventory to serve more disabled veterans.
Needs Statement
Physical rehabilitation is necessary as many of PHWFF participants deal with injuries such as: amputation, traumatic burns, visual impairment, nerve damage or paralysis, TBI and PTS. Emotional rehabilitation is also key as many participants are faced with altered life situations that can result in a loss of hope, withdrawal, poor life decisions (dependence on alcohol, drugs, etc.) and behaviors that are damaging to themselves and their families. Noting that the suicide rate among disabled veterans is three times the national average, Twenty two veterans commit suicide daily, this is unacceptable.
The PHWFF KANSAS CITY is a small program in a sea of many needs. Our program is ongoing, not a camp that is available to the participant a couple of weeks a year. Our volunteers work with the participants every week and with some daily. As a volunteer we receive no pay or compensation, 100% of our local programs money goes to the program. The volunteers pay his or her own way wherever we go or whatever we do. Finances are a huge challenge. We depend on personal donations or small donations from local clubs or organizations. We receive $3500 from the national organization along with handout materials, 10 sets of fly rod blanks and a few fly tying vices each year. We have been operating on a budget of $10,000 a year; we have around 30 active participants and are starting to really grow. We have desperate financial needs, our local program needs to at least double the yearly budget. We need your help.
Service Categories
Fishing & Hunting
Areas of Service
MO - Cass County
MO - Clay County
MO - Jackson County
MO - Lafayette
MO - Platte County
MO - Ray County
KS - Johnson County
KS - Wyandotte County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
*The following is a statement from out nation PHWFF chairman. 
Thank you for making 2017 yet another remarkable year for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing! As I began to compose this note, I realized how quickly my first six months passed as your President and Chief Executive Officer. Although 2017 represents a year of transition for me and for the organization, we made solid progress on many fronts. Personally, I’m truly humbled with the honor to lead our talented staff, dedicated volunteers, and to serve our common cause! Once again our dedicated headquarters staff and volunteers in the field expanded our outreach while strengthening our programs and services. The overall focus for the year was to expand our programs and services to an ever-increasing population of disabled veterans. As you’ll find outlined in this Annual Report we’ve enjoyed many organizational successes during 2017. A few programmatic highlights include:
  • Over 210 operational programs serving disabled veterans and disabled military service personnel from all 50 states and Germany. Each program is managed at the local level by volunteers that work with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, Department of Defense (DOD) military installations, Warrior Transition Units (WTU) and other institutions. PHWFF has 20 geographic regions throughout the United States and 1 region in Europe.
  • Over 3,200 PHWFF volunteers contributed more than 262,000 hours. This enabled more than 7,500 disabled veterans and disabled active military service personnel to participate in PHWFF program activities. 
The emphasis for 2018 is to continue to expand our organizational reach while we complete and deliver an improved website with a data management application. This application will enable us to deliver consistently high quality programs to our participants. Thanks to your dedicated individual and collective efforts Project Healing Waters enjoys a reputation as one of our Nation’s premier nonprofit organizations. I can’t thank you enough for your compassion and your selfless service to this great Nation. I’m truly honored and blessed to lead this great team!
Description Our programs provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying and rod building classes, with participants ranging from beginners who have never fished before, to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities. All fly fishing and tying equipment is provided to the participants at no cost. Fishing trips, both one day, and multi-day are also provided free of charge to participants. It is much more than a one-time fishing trip. We serve all generations of disabled veterans and have highly successful programs in Department of Defense hospitals, and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and clinics. PHWFF is unique in that our volunteers are teaching classes on an on-going, long-term basis. It is much more than a one-day fishing trip. For many participants, particularly disabled veterans, the socialization, and camaraderie of the classes are just as important as the fishing outings and provide them a new activity.
Category Recreation & Sports, General/Other Hunting & Fishing
Population Served Veterans
Short-Term Success Our participants enjoy the challenge of fly tying, rod building and catching fish on equipment they created themselves. After a short while in our program they start to join in the groups, talk and laugh and most of all, have fun again. I have witnessed even the heros with the most severe PTS and TBI advance to the point where they give the classes and instructions not only at our meetings but also at the outreach commitments. I have walked up many a flight of stairs with some of our participants because they couldn’t cope in the elevator. We now take the elevator. I have some of our guys say they can’t go to church; too many people. I meet them at church during the week, less crowded. We are going to church. The successes may seem trivial to someone that hasn’t gone through what these men and women have experienced. Believe me even small successes are life changing to some.
Long-Term Success Our participants not only have physical injuries and disabilities but also have to deal with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTS. Many show a loss of hope, withdrawal and make poor life choices that can be harmful not only to themselves but to their wife and families. Our goal is to show them a way to focus on something small and easy; tying a simple fly or casting to a fish and being successful. It is difficult to describe the joy and feeling of accomplishment this brings to a person that has faced so many difficulties. With every small success the participant begins to come out of their dark place and build a camaraderie they felt in the service. They all know we are available to them any time, day or night to lend an ear or words of help and encouragement. Our program is dedicated to our participants 24/7, 365 days a year.
Program Success Monitored By We hear it from our participants. We get letters, calls and hugs from the families telling us that they are living with a brand new person. We see our successes in the way our participants interact not only with our members but with the general public. We know the healing will never be whole, but we will accept the small gains, smiles and laughter.
“This program has kept a lot of us alive.“ — SSG (ret) Robert Bartlett, US Army 
Examples of Program Success
  • “I was an inpatient in the PTSD program at the Biloxi, MS VAMC. Your organization was the only organization I directly benefited from. Your volunteers came in and taught me how to make my first fishing fly!! I was so proud of myself that day. Your volunteers were extremely patient with all Vets and I am graciously thankful for that day.” — PHWFF Veteran Participant
  • “This program has kept a lot of us alive. “ — SSG (ret) Robert Bartlett, US Army “This program has delivered everything that this disabled Vet could have imagined. As a novice I’ve truly been blessed with some natural ability in tying flies. While doing so, my limitations, the kind you can’t see, are quite diminished. I’ve been able to share this skill and instruct my brother Vets. Not to mention the realization of overcoming my physical limits has been nothing short of miraculous. For this I am forever grateful. 
  • Truly “HEALING THOSE WHO SERVE.” — Leominster, MA participant, Michael Bousquet “It heals. Just as its name states. Suffering from PTSD and various other injuries and complications from a brain injury, my life had been drastically altered in the last few years. Things have been falling out of place. My body has been failing. My mind has been failing. Stressors were mounting up, depression thickening, and isolation becoming even more of a problem. PHWFF has provided a cure for the most of it.” — Staff Sergeant (ret) Charles “Sarge” Speakman, US Army
CEO Comments
PHWFF has a very successful national program, our goal is to draw attention and successfully fund and grow the local Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Greater Kansas City program.
Here is another testimonial of our local program:
"I was in the VA Hospital for an appointment and I noticed some men tying flies and talking to people in the lobby, they said they worked with veterans with PTS by teaching them to tie flies and fly fishing. I was really struggling to get through life day to day, I’m not a joiner but thought I would see what they had to offer. I was welcomed in to the group and was taught how to tie a simple fly, I felt pretty comfortable. I was given a vise to use and tools and some materials to take home. I later was given a fly rod and was taken fishing. I actually caught fish on my own fly I made. I can’t tell you how great that feeling was. I still have problems, I still wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares but instead of laying there afraid I get up and go to my desk, set up my vise and start tying a fly. I focus on the creation of that fly and the demons go away again. Because of this program I feel I am slowly getting my life back little by little. Thank you."
Spec 5, Army, Vietnam 1970-71
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Bob Barnett
Term Start Oct 2012
Experience Bob Barnett is Program Lead for PHWFF Greater Kansas City, his experience is as follows:

Bob Barnett is the Program Lead and co-founder of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing – Kansas City, since it’s beginning in October 2012.

He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Central Missouri State University in Business Administration and is a member of the professional Society of Certified Insurance Counselors.

He has facilitated the growth of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing – Kansas City from “start up” to producing national champions in fly fishing tournaments, fly tying and fly rod building.

Currently he is managing the 2018 Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing National Fly Rod Building Program and Competition. Also, he is overseeing program participants as they engage in the newly introduced 2018 National Fly Casting Contest.
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Volunteers 8
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
PHWFF Greater Kansas City actively coordinates and reciprocates with many Kansas City non-profit and services organizations, i.e Vet Center, VA Hospital and VA Hospital Annex, Missouri Trout Fishers Assoc., Heart of America Fly Fishers, Veterans Community Project.
CEO Comments In 2012 Bob Barnett and James Kissane were working as part time help in the Bass Pro fly shop in Independence, a female customer frequented the fly shop and asked if Bob and Jim would be interested in volunteering at a veterans fly fishing program in Leavenworth, Kansas. Beth was a retired Navy nurse suffering from PTS and loved to fly fish and tie flies. She explained the program however neither Bob or Jim really wanted to be committed to long commutes, they both had careers in addition to part time work. Bob then made contact with PHWFF national and found out there was no program in Kansas City and they would like a presents in the greater Kansas City area. Bob met the regional coordinator and visited the Leavenworth program, there he met a young man from Lees Summit that appeared to be very excited about the program however was having much difficulty with the drive due to his PTSD and TBI. He and Beth both volunteered to help Bob and Jim start a Kansas City program. In the following five years the local program has grown to over fifty members, thirty that are active and regularly participating members. 

Our program is growing at a controlled and highly successful rate. Working with mentally and physically wounded vets is not a fast process. These men and women have been through some very difficult situations and have a tendency to be withdrawn and very private. Vets that suffer from PTS have a tendency to avoid strangers, crowds and areas with numbers of people. They have a tendency to withdraw from public and sometimes even their families, what they seek is a feeling of comradery much like they had in the service.

Trust takes time, but when it is reached the rewards are great. Our local PHWFF program accepts the participant as he or she is; it matters not to us their limitations of disabilities we will find a way to assist them to learn to tie the fly and catch the fish. The program is simple but the rewards are many.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Robert Fitch
Term Jan 2018 to Dec 2018
Board Members
Dr. Jana Brown
Mr. Ferris Butler
Mr. Todd Desgrosseilliers
Mr. Richard Diamond
Mr. Randy Dix
Mr. Robert Fitch
Mr. Adam Fliss
Mr. Ryan Harman
Mr. Bill Howard
Mr. Gregory Johnson
Ms. Diane Morales
Mr. Ed NicholsonEmeritus, Founder
Mr. Richard Patterson
Mr. J. David Rives
Mr. Dave Rogers
Mr. Brian Trow
Mr. Cleve Van Haasteren
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 15
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 2
CEO Comments
The above CEO and Board Members are for the national program. PHWFF Greater Kansas City has no board or CEO, our leadership structure consists of the following:
  • Program Lead: Bob Barnett
  • Asst. Program Lead: James A Kissane
  • Outreach Coordinator: Michael Davis (Medically Retired Army)
  • Asst. Outreach Coordinator: Bruce A. Storts
  • Volunteers: 8 
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $10,000
Projected Expenses $10,000
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using the national organization's IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include individual contributions.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$849$5,347$1,557
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$727,642$723,802$627,321
Revenue In-Kind$0$774,519$442,377
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$2,980,148$2,609,825$1,792,160
Administration Expense$367,907$380,907$366,895
Fundraising Expense$208,389$125,973$106,228
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.161.021.17
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%84%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$2,081,543$1,492,348$1,387,153
Current Assets$2,031,916$1,431,977$1,320,663
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$153,326$143,050$89,810
Total Net Assets$1,928,217$1,349,298$1,297,343
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities13.2510.0114.71
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Comments
  • The financial statements in this profile are for the national PHWFF not the local program.
  • The financials for the PHWFF Greater Kansas City are simple, last year we received $10,000 in donations, we used every dollar on the participants in trips, tools and equipment. Our participants receive all services and tools at no cost to them.  
  • Our Kansas City program is continuous, we meet twice monthly and usually have an impromptu fishing outing every month. 
  • We have no staff or committee to fund raise for us; therefore we need the help of generous individuals and organizations to provide a way to guarantee our program a path to succeed.  
Other Documents
Organization Name Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing
Address 11000 S. Perdue Rd.
Grain Valley, MO 64029
Primary Phone (816) 309-7071
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Bob Barnett
Board Chair Mr. Robert Fitch
Year of Incorporation 2005