Hello all. My name is Mike Schulze, and my wife is Tania. By trade I am a flight test engineer for Sikorsky Helicopter. I received my training in the US Army. I spent 6 years in the military as a crew chief for Blackhawk Helicopters and left the army due to injuries sustained in Iraq. When I exited the military, I was blessed to receive a job with Sikorsky Helicopter and have been working there since 2006.
My wife Tania is a teacher’s aide at the school our church built in 2020. She really enjoys working with kids and she has a heart for missions. She has been on three missions’ trips, two to Africa and one to Costa Rica.
In 2016 my work relocated us to Florida. When we came to Florida, we had to start our lives over. Our two grown children decided to stay in PA, so it was just Tania, I, and our dogs. We had to find a new church home, find new friends, and find new hobbies. Since Florida had good fishing, I traded hunting to spend time with Tania fishing. We started fishing as soon as we got to Florida and have been fishing every weekend, weather permitting, ever since.
Our new church is much smaller than the one we attended in PA. Due to it being smaller we had a hard time fitting in and finding a way to serve in our church. As we fished more, I got the feeling I wanted to work with troubled youth and take them fishing to try and help them out. Once the church announced it would be building a school, I got the idea of starting a fishing club at the school. I figured it would be a good way for Tania and I to use our fishing passion to serve our church and community.
About three months after the school opened, I reached out to Joe Simonds of Salt Strong, to see if he could put me in touch with someone who has started a school fishing club. Joe put me in touch with none-other than Shane “Uncle Shane” Wilson, Founder/CEO of Fishing’s Future.
I was a bit nervous at first as I wasn’t sure if I had the time to put into running a Fishing’s Future Chapter. Shane assured me it was whatever I put into it as long as I held a minimum of three events a year for 2 consecutive years. I told Shane I needed to speak with my wife and pray about the decision as it was going to be larger than I anticipated.
A few days after talking with Shane, praying about it with Tania, and she came up with the name, “Reel Blessed”! I felt this burning desire to make this happen. Tania and I spoke with Shane Wilson and Michael Scherer, Program Director, and we signed a 2-year agreement. That very night I posted a letter on Facebook to raise the required funds. Within 3 days we had exceeded our fundraising goal.
Ever since we started Reel Blessed, we have truly been blessed. We have held five events in 2021 and 8 events in 2022. Our volunteers have been great and Reel Blessed name is becoming known throughout the fishing community in our area. Tania and I are excited to see the impact we have in our community by strengthening the family bonds through the sport of fishing!