INDIANAPOLIS — Former business owner
raises funds for fishery
By Brenda L. Holmes
INDIANAPOLIS — Pat Galyan’s family started a string of sporting goods stores. Now he’s helping to raise funds for The Conservation Fund/Save The Last Great Fishery in Alaska.
Galyan’s father opened the first Galyan’s sporting goods store in Plainfield. Pat Galyan took over the company after he returned from serving in the U.S. Navy.
“I’ve lived in Indianapolis my whole live with the exception of my time in the Navy,” Galyan said. “I was stationed in the Aleutian Islands.”
The Aleutian Islands sweep westward from the tip of the Alaska Peninsula.
“A friend I was stationed with went to work for Fish and Wildlife,” Galyan said. “He worked there for 20 years then went to work for The Conservation Fund. He was heading up Save The Last Great Fishery project and he asked me to help him out. That’s how this all got started.
“The bottom line is we are protecting 40 million acres of habitat in southwest Alaska. This is prime salmon habitat that is about the size of Washington state.”
He said The Conservation Fund has taken on a 10-year $10 million project.
“We get about $50 million from federal and state funds and $40 million from foundations,” he said. “That leaves $10 million to come from the private sector.”
He said the fund has a 10 to one leverage.
“So for every dollar we raise, we can match it 10 times from the government and foundations,” he said. “This means we can protect an acre of ground in perpetuity for 50 cents. That’s a tremendous return on the investment. You can’t even buy bubble gum out of a vending machine for that.”
For more than a decade now, Galyan has hosted a fundraising event for the project. This year’s event is Feb. 13 at The Ritz Charles in Carmel.