POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Global outdoor clothing company L.L. Bean recently highlighted a Polk County-based nonprofit in a marketing video for its new campaign, "Welcome to the Catch."
- RELATED: Lakeland nonprofit mentors foster children through fishing
- Founder Will Dunn, 2 teens he mentored appear in video
- Dunn: "We just fished for two days straight."
- LL Bean donated rods, reels, clothes to nonprofit
The video features the founder of "Take a Kid Fishing, Inc.," Will Dunn, and two teens he has mentored, his neighbor Camran DeLong and Tye Harriell.
“It’s definitely a blessing from God," Dunn said. "Like I said, I’m a believer and pretty much this organization is my ministry, and I feel like God is really blessing it. It’s really like, I’m still numb, to be honest with you.”
“It was a lot of fun (because)… we just fished for two days straight," said Tye Harriell, smiling as he recalled the memories of the fishing trip sponsored by L.L. Bean. "We got up early, got on a boat and started fishing,”
A tire salesman by day, Dunn said he’s been taking foster kids and fatherless kids fishing for more than 10 years. He started off by taking DeLong and expanded it from there.
Dunn said L.L. Bean called him out of nowhere.
“I got a phone call one day and the guy said he’s with L.L. Bean trying to set up an interview/phone conference with me and I said, 'send me an email.' I didn’t believe it,” recalled Dunn.
Dunn said company officials told him they found him while searching the web for mentoring programs.
Dunn’s picture with his mentees is now on L.L. Bean’s website and social media pages, something Harriell is really happy about.
“It's cool to be one there," he said. "I’m on the video on YouTube, Facebook. It has like over 100k views. Yeah, it’s cool to be on that."
Dunn said the company gave to his nonprofit and the teens got paid, too.
“They gave me several rod and reel combos and a bunch of clothing," he explained. "We wore their clothing for three days. It was exciting for the boys too, to be able go home with L.L. Bean gear."
Dunn said the donation was enough to fund another fishing trip with about 30 kids. He’s hoping the exposure will help him connect with more companies and expand the organization’s reach.
Watch the video below: