Kids with special needs 'catch a special thrill' at Lake Murray

Published: Apr. 20, 2019 at 5:29 PM CDT
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Hook, line and sinker, these kids are here for a good time on Lake Murray looking to "catch a special thrill" with the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation.

John Clipp and his son, 13-year-old John Jr., who is deaf, said they are thankful for the opportunity to have a day of fishing.

"It's about the kids," John Sr. said. "It's not about anything else, even if they just go out and have fun on the boat."

John Jr. has been fishing since he was about six years old and had a successful morning reeling in multiple fish.

"I got a carp and I got four," John Jr. said.

C.A.S.T. for Kids has been hosting events like these across the nation since 1991.

This is the its fourth year at Lake Murray.

The goal of the C.A.S.T. for Kids organization is to spread a positive message that all kids are capable, despite having a disability, through the sport of fishing.

Jason Midkiff helped organize the Lake Murray event.

"Some of these kids have never fished before," Midkiff said. "Some of them have. It's just an opportunity for them to come out, go out on a boat, fish a little bit, go on a ride around the lake and try to have a special day. The smiles make it worth it every year so it's a pleasure to put it on."

The 25 kids that participated each received a plaque, fishing rod and tackle box.

Jonette Gadd with the Lake Murray Yacht Club said the club provided boats and life jackets for the kids as well as eggs for an Easter egg hunt, an exclusive for the Lake Murray event which has always been on Easter weekend.

"And you hear the joy they have in just being out on a boat and getting to catch a fish or try to catch a fish. It's just so rewarding," Gadd said.

John Sr. said he is thankful for volunteers like Gadd and Midkiff.

"Thank you to everybody at C.A.S.T. for Kids," John Sr. said.

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