Catch A Special Thrill is the concept behind the Washington based C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation. I would say they are exceeding expectations in every way since they started events in 1991.
This past weekend, anglers from Washington and Oregon made the trip to Lake Washington and Henry Hagg Lake with a common goal… get kids on the water and have fun! Jay Yelas, Executive Director, set the stage at the Boat Captain meeting by reminding everyone this event is not a tournament and each kid will be different in what they want to do on the water. With each boat captain and shore volunteer arriving around an hour prior to the kids arrival, the event is very well coordinated.
The day starts out by giving each kid a rod and reel combo and tackle box made possible by generous donations from C.A.S.T4Kids Premier Partners. Shore volunteers are there to help match kids with life jackets and get them ready for their time on the water.
Once the kids are ready, more shore volunteers coordinate with boat captains and local Fire Department resources to safely put kids and parents in boats before launching into the water.
Pictures are taken and amazingly developed while the event is going on so each young angler can go home with a plaque unique to their experience with a photo inserted into the award. The awards presentation is something to watch all on it’s own and has everyone involved smiling by the time it’s done.
William Garren drove to Hagg Lake from Jefferson and after the event posted on Facebook, “The Cast for Kids event was a big success. I think all the kids had smiles on their faces. Between driving boats and catching fish they were not disappointed. This event makes a big difference in these kids lives.”
I have to agree with Will. When a day starts off with a young angler like Jean-Claude wanting to go slow in the boat and ends the day wanting to do circles at top speed with a huge smile on his face, you know there is much more to these events than the fishing. That is the reason many of the volunteers come back year after year. Kids smiling faces leave a lasting memory for everyone involved.
If you would like to keep up with C.A.S.T For Kids events you can follow them on Facebook or visit their website for more info.
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