Not Just Ahother Day on the Water

November 30, 2010
By Anonymous

On the weekend of June 4, 2010, an amazing event took place. Henry County families with special needs children were given an open invitation to a field day of fishing, kayaking and fun. Hosting this event was a group of volunteers from the Georgia Kayak Fishing Foundation (GKFF) - a charitable non-profit organization- who joined forces with the Henry County Water and Sewer Authority as well as the Henry County Special Olympics to take the group of Special Olympics athletes for an afternoon of kayaking and fishing. Thirty five athletes and over 100 additional family members and volunteers gathered at the Cubihatcha Outdoor Recreation Center in Henry County on that Saturday. The Festivities started at 9:00 am and within 15 minutes, the athletes were either reeling in bluegill and catfish left and right or paddling across the +200 acre reservoir. For many this was their first experience on the water, frightening as it may seem, the brave athletes thoroughly enjoyed paddling the kayaks. Athletes took turns paddling and fishing; some even got the chance to do both simultaneously and had a blast nailing bluegill off the beds using crickets and worms under bobbers. Many parents and family members got in on the fun by testing out the kayaks and wetting some lines themselves. What started out as yet another afternoon of community service for the GKFF turned into something much bigger- the biggest service effort the club has ever seen. Event organizers hoped that this would be a relaxing and fun experience for the athletes and their families that would give them a chance to enjoy the great outdoors and forget about their stresses, if only for a few hours. Judging by the number of smiles from everyone involved, this mission was accomplished. The field day has inspired many and planted the seeds of community service into the hearts of the volunteers, with a little water and a lot of fish, who knows how big this love for others can grow.

The author's comments:
Although I participate in many kayaking fishing service activites, this particular event inspired me the most. I want to show everyone how amazing children with special needs are in that they can overcome even the most frightening obstacles.

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