On June 15, the Yakima Field Office celebrated its 21st annual Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids event at Sarg Hubbard Park in Yakima, WA.
C.A.S.T. is an annual fishing event that is offered to children with a wide range of disabilities and terminal illnesses. The Let's Move Outside initiative was introduced by First Lady Obama. Her goal is to solve the problem of childhood obesity by encouraging children to increase physical activity and eating healthier.
This year at the event, there were 21 participants who ranged in age from 7-16 years old. As the children arrived, they were greeted by Otto Otter who brought big smiles. The anticipation and excitement filled the air.
After the children registered and were assigned a "fishing buddy", they received their fishing gear, a white C.A.S.T. T-shirt and cap. They then had their picture taken with their fishing buddy. And now, it was off to the business of the grand catch of the day - FISH!
During the two hours of fishing, the participants got lots of "nibbles", sightings of a couple of "big" ones and approximately thirty pan-sized fish were caught by the young anglers. Some of the children didn't just catch one fish, but up to five. The great part is that the fish went home with them, fry-pan ready, thanks to the volunteers at the fish cleaning station.
Smiles by the young anglers and "fishing buddies" were shared in a group picture prior to lunch. The fish stories began as the hungry participants shared in a delicious meal.
All of the participants had a lot of "fishing" fun!
As the participants and volunteers ate, the presentation program began. Beaming parents and guardians clapped loudly as each young angler received their plaque, goody bag, fishing buddy picture, and a certificate for a job well done.
This year's event was made even more special with the presence of local television and newspaper media who conducted interviews with the participants and volunteers.
This day was a great success because of all our volunteers, those who worked behind the scene, Reclamation employees and family members, Reclamation retirees, WA State Fish and Wildlife, Master Hunters, United Builders, Yakima Machine, and S.L. Start. They made the children feel like "star anglers" for the day.
We are thankful for their hard work and we look forward to next year's event.
Released: July 02, 2013