Where were you in 1991?
The C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation was just in its infancy.
The first ever C.A.S.T. for Kids event was held at Banks Lake in Eastern Washington in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation and Land Management. Jim Owens, the founder, was at a Bureau of Reclamation conference on the east coast when they announced they were looking for ideas of how to expand the use of their land and waterways to more people in the near future. Jim had the idea of creating a fishing event that would be specifically available to people who typically wouldn’t get to go fishing. Thus, the first C.A.S.T. for Kids event for kids with special needs was born.
It’s often challenging for children with special needs to have easy access to fishing and boating. Jim wanted to make it possible. So he rallied his buddies at the Kent Bassmasters club to help. They brought their families and together they treated 10 kids with special needs to a day of fishing. One of our staff members of six years, Jessica Kelly was one of the children of a fisherman and long-time volunteer, Marvin Walker, at the first event.
Just as with every C.A.S.T. for Kids event to date, a morning of fishing was followed with a shared meal and a photo of the participant in a commemorative plaque. Rods and reels were donated by a local vendor so the kids could fish long after the one day experience.
We are so thankful for our 27 year history of providing opportunities of sweet success and lots of fun for kids with special needs through the sport of fishing.