Children with special needs, their families and community volunteers spent Saturday morning at Lake Tyler fishing at the sixth annual C.A.S.T. for Kids event.
C.A.S.T. for Kids put the event together with the help of sponsor Texas Farm Bureau Insurance. Jay Yelas, C.A.S.T. for Kids executive director, said he was excited to see 30 children at the event.
Yelas added that the group’s mission is to “enrich the lives of children with special needs, supporting their families and strengthening communities through the sport of fishing.”
This event celebrates the children and shows them that they’re loved and valued, he said, adding that children love it and families appreciate it.
“It’s a thrill for me,” Yelas said. “I’m a big fisherman, so for me there’s nothing like watching a child get excited catching their first fish because you know they’re making a lifetime memory.”
Dylan, a child who participated at Saturday’s event, was excited that he caught the biggest bass of the event at 3 pounds.
Many of the children who took part may never have the opportunity to go fishing or boating, Yelas said. Being able to give them that and create lasting memories is a joy.
After a morning of fishing, attendees gathered for lunch and an awards ceremony. Each child was given a plaque to commemorate the day. They were also given a fishing rod, tackle box, event T-shirt and hat.
Nationally, there are 65 C.A.S.T. for Kids events, including 25 in Texas, Yelas said.