The Fish for Life Foundation helps kids with all sorts of needs, but on Saturday, those kids were all just fishing for fun. (WRDW-TV / April 23, 2012)
News 12 at 11 o’clock / Saturday, April 21, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- It is a sport of patience waiting to catch the perfect fish, but on Saturday, it wasn't just about a day at the lake -- it was about making a difference in a child's life.
Anglers of all ages spent the morning casting their rods at Clarks Hill Lake. It was the third annual Fish For Life tournament.
The Fish for Life Foundation works with children and families in the community who have special needs, are abused, neglected or just need help. Saturday was a day to give those kids some fun in the sun.
Hundreds of children lined the docks and the shore at Wildwood Park with their fishing rods in hand.
“I like to catch fish,” said 5-year-old Layton Grissett.
“I just like to be positive and know that I can catch something,” said 8-year-old Sidney Lee.
It's called the Kids Fishing Rodeo and organizer Donnie Robinson is hoping to reel in support for some special kids.
“I get really emotional especially to see somebody to catch their first fish ever in their lives, to come up and weigh it in,” Robinson said.
Five-year-old Layton realizes catching that first fish isn't quite as easy as he thought.
“Have you caught a fish yet?” asked News 12’s Hope Jensen. “Not yet,” said Layton. “I did, but it just ate the worm.”
The Fish for Life Foundation helps kids with all sorts of needs, but on Saturday, those kids were all just fishing for fun.
“It doesn’t matter their limitations whether it's mental, physical, they don't care, we have a blast with all of them and everybody's welcome,” Robinson said.
And it’s an event the whole family can enjoy.
“Because of the event I think that we will make a routine visit to the park and to other places to take them fishing now. I think that's their new hobby,” said mother Tammie Grissett.
For Robinson, the event is about much more than just fishing.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “Yeah I get choked up. Everybody knows I live for this right here.”
The proceeds from the event stay local helping families throughout the CSRA.
“Last year we were able to fly one patient, one little kid, won't call names but they didn't have the money to fly to where they needed to go to a specialist and we did that,” Robinson said.
It was an event families hope they will be able to enjoy to for years to come.
“I hope they will continue it because we'll definitely come over and over again each year,” Grissett said.
The size of the event has tripled over the years. They had almost 200 kids registered to fish Saturday.
This is a big event for them and Robinson said he'll start planning for next year's event on Monday.