Friday, Sep. 07, 2012
Kids with disabilities, boat owners wanted
O'Neill Forebay to host CAST fishing
For the first time, the O'Neill Forebay will host an event next month for children with disabilities.
Catch A Special Thrill for Kids, or CAST for Kids, is a day of fishing and outdoor entertainment for 7- to 14-year-olds with disabilities. The day is sponsored by a number of organizations, including the California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Fish and Game and California Department of Parks and Recreation.
"It's exciting for the kids and families," said coordinator David Lara.
"[Children with disabilities] rarely get to get out to the outdoors," he said.
CAST started a dozen years ago at Millerton Lake near Fresno, Lara said, and has since spread to Lake Perris near Glendale and Collins Lake near Gridley, among others in the state.
"This year, we're looking forward to having one at the Los Banos facility," Lara said.
After fishing, families are offered a barbecue lunch and each participating child gets a plaque with a photograph of himself or herself on the boat, as well as a rod, reel and tackle box.
Lara said he is also looking for boaters who want to volunteer their time and boats, in addition to children interested in participating. There is an expense, but "it's really a rewarding experience," he said.
There are a limited number of spots available, and reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis, Lara said. Organizers expect room for about 30, but could take as many as 40 if enough boaters volunteer.
The O'Neill Forebay is a calm place to fish, Lara said, relatively protected from the wind.
Children and their guardians must register for the event by Sept. 28. The O'Neill Forebay event is planned Oct. 27.
For more on the event, go to www.castforkids.org, or contact Lara at (559) 230-3349 or Paul Young at (916) 376-1923.