A group of Camp Pendleton Marines and their children spent an exciting day on the water last Sunday thanks in large part to a Newport Beach businessman.
More than 60 marines enjoyed the day at Helgren’s Oceanside Sportfishing on board the Oceanside 95. The trip was funded by Ned Wallace, president and founder of Newport Beach-based Wallace Air Cargo Group, and gave the group the chance to see a massive pod of leaping dolphin, an opportunity to learn how to fish, and the rare chance to see sea lions and sea birds.
“Wallace Air Cargo Group has been doing so much good,” Will Ebersman, from Phil Friedman Outdoors Youth, said. "Recently he provided two kids fishing trips that also raised the funds for the shipping of over 5,000 pairs of shoes to the poor of Baja California, several other kids trips and now this magnificent day.”
Captain Joey Helgren and crew were stupendous. Helgren was on deck helping and entertaining the children and the adults on board. It seemed as though every time a kid caught a fish, it was followed by an inevitable proud smile by his or her parents.
The trip was supposed to last until 6 p.m., but Helgren was having so much fun he stayed out on the water longer.
“It was an honor and a heck of a lot of fun to have these great folks on board,” Helgren said.
Every child on board was handed a goody bag loaded with a shirt, sun glasses, some fishing tackle and their very own fishing rod and reel. Randy Crowell, president of the Oceanside Sportfishing Club was on deck helping kids the entire trip. "I just can't wait to do it again next year," he said.
The folks on board had a great time too.
Comments were flying after the trip on the Camp Pendleton YMCA armed forces Facebook page.
"My boys and I had such a great time," Kayla Rodgers said. "My 4-year-old has been telling everyone he sees about his trip and the beautiful fish he caught."