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.
ABOUT C.A.S.T. FOR KIDS
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
ABOUT THE EVENTS
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.
SAVE THE DATE - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2017
CHARLOTTE HARBOR, PUNTA GORDA, FL
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.
WE NEED YOU!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
We're beyond excited to work together as a community to help bring this event to children in Southwest Florida!