About Fishing For Memories, Inc.
Chris and Jennie Ebner
Chris and Jennie Ebner have been married for almost 25 years and have undertaken this outreach to the community together from its beginning and truly desire to help each child have a healthy connection to family, community, and the outdoors.
Chris Ebner is a lifelong fisherman, an avid outdoorsman, community leader, and father of four children. He has 26 years of experience in management and sales, including 21 years of nonprofit management. Chris and his wife, Jennie, adopted their daughters through the Butler County Children and Youth Services and understand the challenges facing pre- and post-adoptive and kinship care families. For 18 years with Fishing For Memories, Inc., Chris has provided fishing instruction, memory building activities, and parental insight to nearly 300 families and over 800 participants. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Geneva College in Community Ministry and is a graduate of the C&MA’s Pennsylvania Bible Institute.
Jennie Ebner is a mom of four who has taught children and youth for over 25 years in either classroom settings or tutoring. She is a graduate of Grove City College with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Communications and a PA Teaching Certification in Secondary Education for English, Literature, and Communications. Jennie has over 25 years of experience in curriculum development and instruction. For 18 years with Fishing For Memories, Inc., she has designed and helped implement the educational components for a variety of our programs. Jennie is passionate about working with children and youth and desires each one to achieve their full potential.
How We Help
Fishing For Memories’ (FFM) programs (begun in ’04) are designed to provide fun opportunities for children and youth, ages 5 to 17, to learn about fish identification and the responsible use and conservation of the environment. Also, FFM’s programs help them learn fishing skills and participate in cooperation-building activities. FFM continually strives to provide Western Pennsylvanian children/youth and their families an encouraging atmosphere to strengthen them one memory at a time.
FFM works with families of special needs from hearing impairment to quadriplegic, foster/adoptive children, single parent, kinship care, and children/youth needing some quality time spent outdoors. FFM also works with groups like Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts, church youth classes and after-school programs, and other community organizations working with children/youth.
Most of our fishing activities are conducted at Little Bitty Lake, 308 Eyth Road, Butler, PA 16002. The 3–acre, privately-owned pond is ideal for first time fishermen, with eager bass and bluegill ready to nibble on a tasty worm. One FFM event, a Tomorrow’s Outdoorsmen Program, boasted 42 fish caught (and released) in just 2 hours.
Most of FFM’s participants (both children/youth and adults) have never been fishing. At FFM events, they are taught not only how to fish, but usually are able to catch their very first fish that day as well.
Comment from an at-risk youth during a FFM event: “This is the best day of my entire life!”
Comment from a parent: “Both children and my husband talked for days about their adventure. FFM is a wonderful organization that truly does strengthen families. Little Bitty Lake is a magical place.”
Fishing For Memories, Inc. was founded on July 3, 2003, by Christopher and Jennie Ebner. FFM, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, serves the communities of Butler, Allegheny, and surrounding counties in Western Pennsylvania.
As of December 31, 2022, Fishing For Memories, Inc. has served 1,012 children/youth, 359 adults, from 391 families, totaling 1,371 people from Butler and surrounding counties.
Fishing for Memories, Inc. offers a number of different free programs, depending on your needs. You will create priceless memories (and learn valuable skills) that last a lifetime!
Family Outdoor Fun Days are our most popular program. There is also Fishing Fundamentals, an excellent opportunity for multiple families to learn the basics of fishing and put their new skills to the test. In each of these programs, your family can spend up to four hours on Little Bitty Lake learning how to bait a hook, cast a line, and identify native fish, along with cooperation building activities.
Tomorrow’s Outdoorsmen Day is for children and youth who simply want to learn how to fish and have a likely chance of catching one that day. It is a fun experience for community organizations and church youth groups, too!
The My Fishing Hole project provides a permanent place for children and youth in foster care to keep their own provided tacklebox and tackle and a few opportunities each month to come wet a line.
Our GROW program offers basic reading tutoring followed by time on the water for the student and a guest.