Children with a wide range of disabilities will have the opportunity to reel in a good time as they join enthusiastic volunteers during the Columbia Basin Project's C.A.S.T. for Kids event on Saturday at Potholes Reservoir 15 miles south of Moses Lake, Wash.
The event is run in coordination with the Let's Move Outside initiative introduced by First Lady Michele Obama to help solve the problem of childhood obesity by encouraging children to be more active in outdoor activities on America's public lands and waters.
Participants and volunteers will gather at Potholes State Park located off State Route 262. Washington State Parks manages the campground which offers easy access to Potholes Reservoir.
"This may be the first fishing experience for some of these kids," Margaret Schoneman, of Reclamation's Ephrata Field Office, said. "This is a great opportunity for us to be part of a special experience that these children will remember for a lifetime."
The children range in age from 7-16 and have a variety of physical or developmental disabilities and, in some cases, a terminal illness. "Each participant will receive fishing gear, tee shirt, and a hat," Schoneman said.
Local Potholes Bass Club members and the Columbia Basin Walleye Club will be on hand with fishing boats and years of professional experience to assist novice anglers. The morning fishing events will be followed by a picnic lunch prepared by the Culinary Arts Class of the Columbia Basin Job Corps Center.
C.A.S.T., which stands for "Catch a Special Thrill," offers children with disabilities an opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing at the reservoir.
Partners include: Bureau of Reclamation, C.A.S.T. For Kids Foundation, Columbia Basin Walleye Club, Potholes Bass Club, Washington BASS Club, Columbia Basin Job Corps Center, Washington State Parks, Washington State Fish and Wildlife, and the Shriners Hospital for Children. Donations for the event were provided by local businesses including: Coulee Playland Resort in Electric City, Tri State Outfitters in Moses Lake, Cascade Marina, Mar Don Resort, O'Sullivan Sportsman Resort, Othello Auto Parts, Sporty's Steakhouse, Loudon Ortho Sports and Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Medical support this year is provided by Fire District No. 12 from Royal Slope, Wash.
For more information, contact Schoneman at Reclamation's Ephrata Field Office at (509) 754-0211. In the event of rain, the C.A.S.T. event will be canceled. For more information about the CAST for Kids events Region-wide, contact Shari Kohlbecker, Reginal Coordinator, at (208) 378-5050.
Released: July 31, 2012