Words by Jenny Lynn Davis | Images by Justin Hunter
On Friday, October 20, thirty-six special needs students from across Walker County gathered at Walker County Lake for the area’s tenth annual “CAST for Kids” fishing event.
CAST For Kids is not just about fishing; it’s about empowerment, unity, and spreading the message that those with special needs can accomplish anything they set their minds to.
The event is organized by the CAST for Kids Foundation, an organization that seeks to enrich the lives of children with special needs, support their families, and strengthen communities through the sport of fishing. CAST stands for “Catch A Special Thrill,” and the foundation has been doing just that since its formation in 1991.
The program provides children with special needs, aged 6 to 18, and their caretakers with a day of fishing they might not have the chance to experience otherwise. The event is a fun experience that offers a refreshing break from the daily challenges these children and their families face.
“This is all a community effort, and I have nothing but praise for this community and their willingness to support this event, from sponsors to volunteers and everyone in between” said Event Coordinator Bobby Hand. “So much goes into this event to make it a big deal for the kids who participate.”
Hand also expressed his appreciation for the Walker County and Jasper City boards of education for allowing students to come out on a school day, and for CAST For Kids Eastern Regional Director Jeff Barnes for his dedication to the event and its participants.
CAST For Kids events are made possible through the generous support of national and local sponsors who are committed to positively impacting the lives of these extraordinary children and, in turn, strengthening their communities.
Sponsors of this year’s event include: The Walker Area Community Foundation, Spire, Kiwanis Club of Jasper, Alabama Power, Five Loaves, High Point Furniture, American Sport Fish, Midway Marine, Woodmen Life, ERA Byars Realty, Central Alabama Rodders Society, Tyler’s Tree Service, Carl Cannon Chevrolet Buick GMC, Lavish Boutique, Niki’s West, The Daily Mountain Eagle, Warehouse 3Nineteen, Norris Plumbing and Gas, Pat’s Archery and Outdoors, Manchester Auto Parts, Black Rock Bistro, Ridgeview and Ridgewood Health Services, Son’s Supermarket, Drummond Company, Inc., Take Me Outdoors, Tri County Air Systems, Kilgore-Green Funeral Home, Marks Automotive, Alfa Insurance – Jennifer Addison, Lake League, Greg Williams, Logan’s General Store, Jasper Auto Sales, Reliable Air Conditioning, Lew’s, Flambeau Outdoors, and Monster Spirit.
This year’s event was held in memory of Scott Drummond and Charlie Skalnik. WL