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“Thank you SO much for C.A.S.T. – the organization, the warm friendliness of the volunteers, the encouragement, and especially the look on my son’s face when he catches a fish – all completely priceless.” – Parent, Horsetooth Reservoir, CO
This is a C.A.S.T. for Kids event designed to provide children with disabilities, ages 5 – 17, the opportunity to enjoy a quality outdoor recreational experience through the sport of fishing. Take to the water with C.A.S.T. for an unforgettable morning of fishing and boating!
Event LocationHorsetooth Reservoir
Fort Collins, Colorado (map)
See More About This Event!
Read more about 2017 Horsetooth River from Northern Colorado News here!
Read About Past Events
2013 Event Recap
Fishing Catches a Special Thrill at Horsetooth Reservoir
By: Kara Lamb, Public Information Officer, Eastern Colorado Office, reprinted with permission from the Bureau of Reclamation
FORT COLLINS, Colo.–“My fish was this big!” yells a confident child climbing down from a Bass Boat. It’s a normal thing for any kid to say when returning from a morning fishing trip. But this is no ordinary child and this is no ordinary fishing event. This is CAST: Catch a Special Thrill.
For over twenty years, the non-profit CAST for Kids Foundation (www.castforkids.org) has been taking differently-abled kids fishing. An impressive network of volunteers makes CAST events possible across the nation. One location that has long enjoyed these events is Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins, Colo.
“Having an event with no stereotypes and just getting to be a kid is great!” said Bea Veca, whose son, Wesley, often participates in CAST at Horsetooth. Seeing a child with Autism, normally shy and reserved “maybe opening up a little” is even better. “Wesley looks forward to it every year!”
Nick Roussos spends most of his time in a wheel chair, but he is an adventure seeker. He has also grown up attending CAST. “Spring just wouldn’t be the same without having the CAST date on his calendar” says his mom, Susan Roussos. “The steady-moving pontoon boat is always a good time, but filling his ‘need for speed’ in a fast-moving Pro-boat brings an even wider smile to Nick’s face.”
CAST at Horsetooth had its inaugural run in 1997. Would there be enough children interested? Would enough volunteers come forward? Would the managing partners whose interests intersect at Horsetooth be able to launch and grow such an event?
To the continuing delight of many families from Denver, Colo. to Cheyenne, Wyo. the answer to all those questions has been a resounding “yes!” So, it was with great pride on June 1, 2013, that the Bureau of Reclamation and Larimer County Department of Natural Resources hosted the 17th annual CAST at Horsetooth event.
Most importantly, 26 children and their families, who normally might not have had such an opportunity, came up to Horsetooth’s South Bay and got on the water for a free day of fishing bliss. CAST provides fishing rods and reels, tackle boxes, t-shirts, and caps to each participating child, for them to keep. After the fishing is done, local businesses chip in food, drinks and door prizes for an awards banquet where each fisher receives a commemorative plaque, also courtesy of CAST.
“I love volunteering at the event each June,” said south Fort Collins resident, Robin Scott. “It’s rewarding, extremely inspirational, but most of all, it’s fun!” Robin is one of at least 50 volunteers who donate their time, their fishing expertise, or even their boat to CAST each year.
Amanda Hellyer’s daughter, Charlotte, spent June 1 fishing with CAST. It’s a “much needed day of fun and relaxation. This was our daughter’s first time out on a fishing boat and she had a blast! She is already asking to go out and fish some more so next year she doesn’t let the ‘big one’ get away!”
Mark Lukens and his daughter Leigh had a similar experience all five years they attended. “Leigh now has a lot of confidence when it comes to fishing,” he said. “I can’t say enough about CAST. We were always treated like royalty.”
Jim Owens, CAST for Kids Foundation founder laughs when he hears this. “That’s why we do it,” he said. “And that’s exactly why we plan to keep on doing it for many more years to come.”
Thanks to our Event Sponsors
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Roche Construction, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation – Colorado, Larimer County Department of Resources, Cabela’s, Eileen’s Colossal Cookies, Sportsman’s Warehouse, LaMar’s Donuts, Bass Pro Shops, Centennial BASS Club, Lews, Flambeau, Cadence Fishing, Lakeshore Marina Condos, Walmart, Otter Cares, CoBank, Scheels, Nordy’s BBQ, Ace Hardware, JJ’s Wood Fired Pizza, Inlet Bay Marina