A Life of Service: Bob Centofanti, Fishing for Success Volunteer
By Crystal Hartman, Biologist
Bob Centofanti has been a volunteer at Fishing for Success for almost 2 years. His experienced hands have repaired and maintained hundreds of our fishing poles, as well as helped hundreds of youth learn a love of fishing. With his dedicated help, the Fishing for Success program has been enriched.
Mr. Bob, as the children call him, began his life of service early, enlisting in the Navy at 17. After the military, he jumped straight into serving his community by becoming a fireman. His life’s mission was to help others, to serve, to contribute. He retired from firefighting in 1987. After retiring, he continued to serve by volunteering at the local VA hospital twice a week, driving veterans from the parking lot to the hospital, a long journey for some disabled vets.
Bob, like many U.S. veterans, struggled with the impacts of being in the military and serving in conflict. With help from the Veteran’s Administration, he was supported and given services to help him heal and flourish. In cooperation with the VA, veterans come out to our ponds to fish at least twice a year. It is soothing for them to visit this quiet place to fish and connect with nature. This is how we met Bob back in 2016. He expressed an interest in helping with the program. It began with just 2 hours a week. Now, he is faithfully here at least 3 days a week, helping with uncountable aspects of our program.
We want to let everyone know about this exceptional person who has quietly dedicated himself to a life of service. Here at Fishing for Success, we have found a treasure in Mr. Bob, and he has found “his version of heaven” where he is positively impacting the lives of youth and finding solace in our fishing ponds (his favorite pastime)—a truly symbiotic relationship.