On June 14, at Sarg Hubbard Pond in Yakima, Wash., 18 enthusiastic and excited participants registered for the annual "Catch a Special Thrill," better known as C.A.S.T./Let's Move Outside event. The participants ranged in age from 7 to 17.
Two entities combine to create a day of excitement for the outdoors and fishing. The first is C.A.S.T., which is a fishing event that is offered to children with a wide range of disabilities and terminal illnesses. The second is the Let's Move Outside initiative, which was introduced by First Lady Obama, with the goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity by encouraging children to increase physical activity and healthy eating.
After registration, the excited participants readied for a couple of hours of fishing and catching a "big one." The participants were assigned a "fishing buddy," they received their fishing gear, a C.A.S.T. tee shirt and cap. With their fishing buddy and either a volunteer or parent, they were photographed to memorialize the moment. Then off to the pond to catch FISH!
Not all of the participants caught the "big one," but they learned how to cast a fishing rod. Some participants didn't just catch one fish, but caught the limit of five fish. The volunteers at the fish cleaning station made it possible for the participants to take the fish home, ready to cook and eat.
The kids' smiles were shared in a group picture. Then the hungry participants enjoyed a delicious and nutritious meal of meat and veggie burgers, hotdogs, carrots, celery, apple juice, and sweet juicy watermelon.
As the participants and volunteers ate, the presentation program began. Each young angler received a plaque, goody bag, and their fishing buddy picture for a job well done. The crowd of proud parents/guardians, and volunteers cheered loudly as each name was read.
This year's local event sponsors shared in the celebration by giving donations, providing food, fishing gear, and miscellaneous services. Those sponsors include: AB Foods, Tree Top, Pepsi, Greenway Foundation, Washington State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Valley Septic, Rex & Diane's Mobile Grill, and Culligan.
The "fish" stories, the participants, the smiles, the parents, and the food all contributed to the success of this event, but without the volunteers who worked behind the scene, it would not have happened. Over 40 Reclamation employees, family members, and retirees participated this year. Their unselfishness and willingness to share their love of outdoor activities helped to make the kids "star anglers" for the day. The event was a great success!
Released: July 24, 2014