Bruce Whitmire, father of five, grandfather of nine and U.S. Air Force veteran, has one purpose when it comes to fishing -- and it’s not collecting trophies. Whitmire has dedicated his life and his fishing career to raise money to provide clean, safe water for people in East Africa.
Twenty-two years ago, Whitmire and his wife traveled to East Africa on several mission trips. That's when he realized how many families relied on women and children to travel many miles carrying buckets on their heads so that they could have water. The bucket that is supposed to bring health and life to families, however, is often the bucket that also brings disease and death, because that water often is contaminated.
This reality was a shock to Whitmire, who grew up in East Texas.
“When you see children sick and hurting from water-related diseases and you know how to help them, you must invest yourself in the remedy of their suffering,” Whitmire said.
And that’s exactly where his journey began.
In 2009, Whitmire founded Global Water Partners, a non-profit organization that provides clean, safe water to people in need living in developing countries. That water is provided by drilling wells, at no cost, for millions of people living in the underprivileged areas throughout East Africa.
The organization, which drills wells, is funded by individual and corporate donations, as well as the profits Whitmire receives from fishing the B.A.S.S. Open circuit and Fishers of Men tournaments. He chose fishing as the vehicle for fundraising because of his pure passion of the sport.
Today, Whitmire tells the Global Water Partners story before each tournament and during weigh-ins.
He is aided in his mission by Mercury, one of his sponsors.
“I have fished all over the USA and I can always count on my Mercury Pro XS to work hard, sip fuel, produce the power to get me out of the hole, and the speed to get me there and back on time,” Whitmire said.
“Mercury plays a vital role in providing clean water to the people who need it most."