RUPERT, Idaho - The fish were slippery and got away from the young anglers at the 12th Annual C.A.S.T. for Kids event, but the fun and excitement of the day did not escape as smiles were everywhere at Lake Walcott State Park near Rupert, Idaho. About 30 volunteers were on hand to assist 18 young anglers at the July 13 event designed to introduce children with disabilities, long-term illness, or other disadvantaged youth to the fun of fishing
"This is a very special event for those children who might otherwise never have the opportunity to experience outdoor recreation in this way or feel the joy of catching their first fish," said Sarah Wageman, USFO Budget Analyst and C.A.S.T. Coordinator. "The youngsters and family members had the opportunity to share in a day of fun, while also learning about safety and team work."
Many first-time participants joined in the day, as well as numerous repeat "offenders" who are on the hook each year for this event.
Volunteers and boat captains are up bright and early preparing to greet the anxious anglers who always arrive just as the final touches are put together. With the help from a team of dedicated volunteers the event always goes smoothly as registration, equipment distribution and boat assignments are tasked out so that the fishing can began.
After two hours of casting and reeling, the hungry anglers made their way back to shore where they were welcomed by members of the Rupert Elks Lodge who prepared a great summertime lunch just in time for the awards ceremony. The menu included hamburgers, salads, and fresh fruit and vegetables all served up with an extra portion of affection.
As fish tales were swapped, the question of the day was, "Who had the biggest fish that got away?" Next year the fish won't be so fortunate.
"The biggest thrill of all was the happiness shown on the faces of the kids and adults who are already looking forward to the next C.A.S.T. for Kids event," Sarah said.
Released: July 29, 2013