Many of these children have never felt the wind through their hair, let alone been on a boat or caught a fish.
— Jeff Barnes, C.A.S.T. for Kids

These words hit me almost with a pang of guilt. Two things I enjoy most in this world, boating and fishing, and so easily take for granted.

Jeff Barnes, the Eastern Regional Director of C.A.S.T. for Kids, was giving us a rundown on the history of the non-profit charity. Just the night before, what started as a heart-to-heart led Mike and I down a path that all started with his dream of wanting to take kids fishing.

We agreed we were going share our love for fishing with deserving children who may not otherwise have the opportunity. To introduce them to the same passion that lit a fire inside each of us at a young age. To rally our friends, family and community together to help deliver this potentially life-changing experience.

For Mike, it was personal. He knew what his parents went through when he had cancer at the age of four. The distress, pain and uncertainty that a family lives day in and day out, fighting toward a cure. He desired to give families a moment of escape, even if briefly;  together, on a boat, on the water, casting their worries away. Landing their first Redfish would just be a bonus. 

So we made it official and have partnered with C.A.S.T. to bring their C.A.S.T. for Kids event to Southwest Florida in November 2017.

all photos courtesy of c.a.s.t. for kids foundation

all photos courtesy of c.a.s.t. for kids foundation


C.A.S.T. (Catch A Special Thrill) for Kids Foundation is a public 501(c)3 charity that was formed in 1991 to join volunteers who love to fish with disabled, disadvantaged and terminally ill children, ages 5-17, for a day of fishing in the outdoors.

The Foundation has expanded their reach to host approximately 40 annual events in over 30 states and has helped take over 25,000 kids fishing, while teaching them about conservation, water safety and protecting the environment.

Goals of the C.A.S.T. for Kids Program

  • Expose children, who may not otherwise get the opportunity, to the sport of fishing and the enjoyment of the outdoors

  • Encourage continued participation in fishing by developing skills in the children along with their parents

  • Provide education and understanding to children about fish as a natural resource

  • Increase the awareness of all participants, parents, sportsmen, and volunteers, to the capabilities of children with disabilities, in effect strengthening local communities


C.A.S.T. has provided disabled and disadvantaged children an opportunity to learn to fish with experienced anglers, on the water in boats. 

Each child is supplied with a new fishing rod and reel, t-shirt, hat, and tackle box, partnered with an experienced volunteer angler and escorted onto a boat where, with the supervision of a parent or guardian, they are shown proper fishing techniques and receive natural resources education. Participants and volunteers all then return from their morning fishing excursion to a BBQ lunch and an awards ceremony.



We are hosting our C.A.S.T. for Kids event on Charlotte Harbor in Punta Gorda, Florida. We are actively recruiting participants, volunteers and sponsors to get involved and help make this the event of a lifetime!

Follow our Facebook Event Page for live updates and announcements and to connect with others who are helping to bring this event to life. (Must be logged in to your Facebook to access the page). An official Registration page will open 3 months prior to the event for volunteers and participants. Upon registration, you will receive the event address and more details.


Up to 40 children accompanied by parents

Up to 40 Boat Captain Volunteers (captain's license not required)
Up to 120 On-Shore Volunteers

No limit! We need donations to help fund this event. Sponsor logos will be included on the event t-shirts. 

If interested in being an On-Shore Volunteer, a Participant or to become a Sponsor, please email me at

If interested in being a Boat Captain Volunteer, to work one on one with kids and parents and dedicate your time, boat and fishing expertise, please email Mike at

We're beyond excited to work together as a community to help bring this event to children in Southwest Florida!