MARION, Va. — This year the Steve Thomas Lifetime License for Fishing was awarded to Mallie Thomas.
Mallie is Thomas’ niece, who never got to meet him. She is the nine-year-old daughter of Anthony (Steve’s brother) and Angie Thomas. Her grandparents are Walter and Wanda Thomas of HilIsville, Virginia, and Shirley Martin of Mount Airy.
Mallie’s story began when she asked her Nanny Thomas who was getting the award this year. When her nanny said no one applied, she asked if she could. When she learned that she could apply, she immediately went home and wrote most of the essay in one evening. Then she found out the essay needed to be at least 300 words. So she went back home to complete the essay with 306 words.
Her papa was happy to write the adult essay about why he supported Mallie’s interest in fishing.
The Steve Thomas Memorial Lifetime License was established to remember Steve Thomas who lived and loved life until Dec. 27, 2001. Steve loved the outdoors and fishing. He was attending Virginia Tech working for a degree in Fisheries.
To keep his memory alive, Thomas’ uncle, Wendell Horton set up this memorial with the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries, whose Carroll County office is here in Marion. At the time the department said this memorial was the first of it’s kind in Virginia.
Qualifications to apply are simple. Applicant must be age 16 or younger, a resident of Carroll or Grayson County, write a 300-500 word essay and have an adult write a short essay about their commitment to share the outdoors with the applicant.
If anyone is interested in knowing more about the memorial lifetime license for hunting or fishing, contact Wendell Horton at 276-728-2211 or Wanda Thomas at 276-728-9165.