Melita Ganoe and son Daniel awarded volunteerism awards for service to warriors with Heroes on the Water
The Ganoe family combines their love of kayak fishing with volunteering to help our nation’s active duty military personnel, veterans and their families unwind and experience peace on the water. Heroes on the Water is honored by the family’s dedicated service – Melita, husband Charlie, and son Daniel – and is proud to announce that Melita and Daniel have both been recognized nationally for their outstanding service.
On June 4, 2014 in The Great Hall at the Department of Justice, Attorney General, Eric Holder honored Melita with the Attorney General’s Volunteer Award for Community Service for her sustained volunteer role with Heroes on the Water, one of three recipients nationally.
As the coordinator for the Northeast Florida Chapter of Heroes on the Water, Melita leads a team of volunteers in providing kayak fishing outings to help warriors unwind and reconnect with themselves, their families and their community. As a founding member of the chapter in June 2012, Melita’s leadership rapidly led to a strong corps of volunteers delivering monthly outings for veterans. Every outing engages veterans and their family members in a safe, relaxing, fun experience, designed to help them heal, connect with other veterans, and learn a new sport they can enjoy for a lifetime.
Daniel Ganoe received presidential recognition as a recipient of the Presidents Volunteer Service Gold Award that is awarded to young adults for exemplary volunteer service. Daniel, a recent high school graduate, gave 1,000 volunteer hours of service to Heroes on the Water over the past four years. He was instrumental in the preparation and labor necessary for the HOW-Northeast Florida Chapter to hold kayak fishing outings for warriors and their families. Daniel will be a cadet at the Citadel in the fall.
Warrior, Felix Santiago says it best, “NE Florida HOW chapter and Melita Ganoe have become a second family to me. I have been participating for a little over a year and I have seen a major difference in my personality. I have become a more sociable and relaxed person because of HOW. Being on the water fishing with great tour guides has sparked a major interest in kayak fishing for me. Before joining HOW I did not know much about fishing, shortly after a couple of events I purchased my own kayak. I am now an avid kayak angler. Thank you so much Melita and your team for all that you do and will do in the future. Life is good with HOW in my life!”
In 2013, the Northeast Florida Chapter served 389 veterans and family members made possible by 90+ volunteers who collectively logged 4,923 volunteer hours in planning, preparing and delivering the unique kayak fishing program. Many warriors who participated in the program now serve as volunteers as their way to help other veterans with similar challenges as they transition home. The program is provided solely by donations. You can support the Northeast Chapter by clicking HERE. Your support is greatly appreciated.